Web of Life and Death

By Allan Lake


If my car is idle for a couple days,
ambitious spiders create competing
empires in uninhabited valleys between
bumper and side panel or where seldom
used rear door meets rear panel and even
within springy trapdoor that opens
to allow my car to drink fossil fuel so
I can drive to a supermarket to replenish
bread, eggs and insect spray. Spiders
are born builders; as a descendant
of Cain, I’m a born killer.

And I am the wrathful one who owns
the past-its-use-by chariot. I wreck with-
out mercy because I can. Look out, planet.
Let simple creatures devote their energy
to building ‘netropolises,’ imagine them-
selves architects of low-rise Babels
to cloak the world, if I allow it.
Insects that fly or bumble into my car
would not be brightest of their kind
but might be nutritious. I’ll find out
if climate change forces me to consume
whatever is left of the insect world.

If readers expect insightful reflection
on empires in general – Incan, Persian,
Roman or extant MacDonald’s –
don’t hold breath, unless I’m spraying.
I’m going to wash despidered, outdated
car then beeline to nearest fast food joint.