You laughed and suggested I dream of bugs.

And there were. Crawling between the pages of my book,



the folds in the quilt, eight red dots on the thorax

like rubies in the bottom of a mug



filled with poison. Also you stole an ambulance, and

the whole time I was thinking      what about the emergency?



Or the pictures on the billboards?  They were all of my sisters,

and when we got to the restaurant they hid in a tiny cardboard house



that had tornado written all over it.

Sometimes that’s how it feels, looking at the cat-shaped



hole you just dug in the ground. Like you could alter a voice

into a different ghostchild. The soon-to-be felon



smiles in his mugshot because there’s only so many ways

you can build a body before you’re just slapping parts together



haphazardly, the leg connected to the sternum, the eyes

just off center in the middle of one left palm. The whole thing



falls apart if you don’t remember to time yourself. Sun-up

to sun-down. Last night you said there would be bugs.



And laughed. The sound I heard:

one million eyes, turned inward



and counting the dots on the bodies

of tiny things that can only be suggested.


Laura E. Miller received her Bachelor’s in Poetry from Columbia College Chicago in May 2013. She was raised in Louisville, Kentucky, and currently lives in Chicago with all of her cats. Her work has also appeared in Columbia Poetry Review no. 26.