1 poem
Ellen Welcker

Ellen Welcker is the author of Ram Hands (Scablands Books, 2016), The Botanical Garden (Astrophil Press, 2010), and four chapbooks, including The Pink Tablet (Fact-Simile Editions, 2018). She lives in the Midwest.

Anarchic Arachnid

The puzzle asks the puzzler

to achieve. Well, I am here

to stay bewildered. Am I here

to stay, asks everyone

of themselves. J/K.

Of other invasive species,

this we do ask, as well

as those at risk of non-

existence. Me? No.

When sharks flourish

we are happy ‘til they swim

where we like to swim.

And sharks do draw the eye.

But on behalf of ticks

I am offended. Apex predator

to apex predator, I must

move to include the little dicks—

at least, give them some respect.

They, like me, move into imbalance

and right that shit by making it

wrong. The unnamed exist

yet I insist on calling them “like”

something to google.

Disapproval means nothing

to ticks, and me—we’re hovering

J/K—we’re not on anyone’s

ballot. Everyone knows

you go to hell to clarify things.

Inhale mindfully: you’ll know

something, I’m told. Clouds

are mountains of sky, for instance.

Inside each cumulo a billion

possibilities; in each possibility

a million more. Solve for X.

X levels down, find 2

to the nth power. It’s a real

pyramid scheme. Near the bottom

you’ll find the five species

of ticks. Like me, newcomers.

Like me, unsolvable.

The climate increasingly

perfect for us.

One problem is solved

by keeping the most of us

alive. But who is us

and who in charge

can get behind ‘no one.’