Spider in the Clothes Pile by Ace Boggess

never have I seen one so large indoors
a baby’s fist with bristles visible on its back

black as the fusion crust on a meteorite
black as any imagined spider black

the Platonic universal waiting in its cave
of boxers & coffee-stained tees

I go to pick them up & out it drops: the black spot
of old Blind Pew on my biblical beige carpet

God how I must have sounded: part shriek
part the ach-ach-ach of a hairball-spewing cat

double fright: the it that is & it the unexpected
a spider in the clothes pile heart-shocks

spikes the pulse though to say it out loud
makes me think of “A Buddha in the Woodpile”

the poem by Ferlinghetti about Waco
the cult whackos & whackos in the FBI

all that violence when a Buddha would bring peace
but if a Buddha fell out of my clothes pile

I’d have been just as frightened
maybe more despite his Oming & Ahing

or sweet gentleness of his enlightened eyes
because for fuck’s sake how did he get in there? &

as he crawled toward safety of the under-bed
his head would be too big for my well-aimed shoe

Ace Boggess is the author of two books of poetry: The Prisoners (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2014) and The Beautiful Girl Whose Wish Was Not Fulfilled (Highwire Press, 2003). He is an ex-con, ex-husband, ex-reporter, and completely exhausted by all the things he isn’t anymore. His writing has appeared in Harvard Review, Mid-American Review, RATTLE, River Styx, North Dakota Quarterly and many other journals. He lives in Charleston, West Virginia.

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