Predatory Arthropod

I. 

 

I am opportunistic. I have eight legs, a grasping claw, and a segmented tail. My back curves. I come out at night to hunt. I bury in the undersides of rocks and in sand. I don’t peek my head forth until I see an enemy approaching. I hide in corners on bare Saltillo tile floors. Kids find me with their hands, but it is too late. I have already stung them. I am Scorpion. I sting. Venom comes from my claws, my mouth, and a stinger on my ass, like the bumblebee you met when you were twelve. But don’t mistake me. I don’t bumble. I kill and paralyze my prey. My mixture of neurotoxins and enzyme inhibitors is fast acting. I turn my victims to liquid. 

 

I suck them dry.

 

I crush.

 

I hiss. 

 

II. 

You were kindness. You were stable. You were balanced. Your hard shell kept me unwavering. Your strength, elevating me. 

 

You courted me in a promenade à deux. You led me with a juddering kiss—your clawlike mouth grasping my pincers and injecting me with a pacifying venom. You searched for a suitable place to deposit yourself. You, in a hurry. You didn’t want me to lose interest for fear I may cannibalize you. 

 

III.

 

Your mother carried you on her back. You depended on her moisture. 

You resemble her—                                                                                                               

You had a choice to protect from evil or be an embodiment of evil. You chose the latter.  

 

You used your slitted, circular, elliptical and oval eyes—the two on the top of your skull,

and the five pairs along the front corners of your head to stalk me. 

 

Your two tails, a genetic abnormality were needed to sufficiently paralyze me. 

 

I needed the sting. I needed it hard and long. I needed to learn not to trust. 

I took the sting not once but for many for many, many years. 

You saw innocence. You saw hidden frailty. You saw Nazi’s behind my blind eyes. 

 

You knew you could be the Hitler in my life. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IV.

Mate to Scorpion:

A scorpion will always be a scorpion. Your outer shell will never reveal the softness I thought I found. It is lost. You are lost. You cannot be the moulted scorpion I need. You still have to work on the Amma and Abba in your life. You still need to work on Oni. When her high heels jabbed you in your tender child ribs, you got lost in that closet. You will never recover from, “I hate you. I wish I never had a Scorpion son like you.”  Not in this life, Tan. Not now. You must be reincarnated to find your way. You may think you have found it in this lifetime, but don’t be fooled. 

Scorpion to Mate: 

You are wise. Use your analytical mind. Not your heart. It will not lead you wrong. I leave you with such sadness. I have known nothing other than your breath. You were my first love. And you will always be my only real love. Our love is evidenced in our boys. They came from you and learned the lessons I wasn’t taught. Their shell is much softer than mine. Follow your boys. Let them listen to you cry. Let them be men. Let them do their own laundry. I’ll always need your voice to put me to sleep. I will always prefer your chicken curry to my mom’s. Never think this is about you. It is all about me. It always was. You will learn to trust again. 

 

You may die early but you will have lived your life like Hitler asked you to do. 

 

God bless you Tamara and may you rest in peace.

    

V.

 

Mate to Scorpion:

You haven’t yet shedded your exoskeleton. Your instars haven’t molted into maturity yet. You will emerge when this split takes place. You will become soft and stretch into your new body. 

Scorpion to Mate: 

In your next life, look for two black rocks surrounded by white sand and you will find me. 

Dr. Tamara MC is an Applied Linguist and focuses on issues related to language, culture, and identity in the Middle East and beyond, specifically her hybrid and juxtaposed identity of growing up simultaneously Jewish and Muslim in a Sufi commune in Texas.

 

She has various publications in journals such as, the Berkeley Poetry Review, OVS Magazine, Fiction International, Sand Script, Poetica Magazine, Driftwood Press, Sling Magazine, and Blue Guitar.

 

She attended residencies at such places as, The Iowa Writers’ Workshop Summer Program, BreadLoaf, Sewanee, Summer Literary Seminars in Lithuania, and Naropa.

 

She has also been awarded fellowships at Ragdale, Los Angeles Review of Books/University of Southern California Publishing Workshop, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Vermont Studio Center, Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, and others.

 

She has taught as full-time faculty at the the University of Arizona, both ESL and teacher training classes. She most recently was an English Language Fellow for the U.S. Department of State and Georgetown University in Tbilisi, Georgia with the Shota Rustaveli Theatre and Film Georgia State University.

 

When she isn’t teaching or writing, she is creating three-dimensional art with found materials or running marathons. She is a mama to two amazing sons and an adorable Boston Terrier named Blazer.

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