Crawl Crawl – Aida Riddle

Crawl, crawl. Slither, slither. Calico cat beneath a box needs syringe full of gravy and meat juice dripped onto its feral tongue. Warmed up with rice socks pulled from microwave radiation waves that permeate the landscape yellow and green. Revision escape revision redact because it sounds cruel. A parasite flickers green flicker red and an unsupported diode not fit for socket. A reracking a resetting of the table throw the salvia say hello to worm king who knows your name and welcomes you to worm palace in neon fleeces and neon robes his speech bubble pops big above your head and you slither too, along the worm palace carpet as if you always belonged here. The moon rises, pregnant for the harvest, dreamy swollen and orange. It’s orange because of the pollution. The romance of noise and litter and bright shining lights have called for a moon more precious and full than what was in the good old days. Shine bright along the east side, a river coursing with jellyfish and plastic bags, a dazzling explosion of disco lights, a family sent away for flooding. At night cats in heat howl with the fervor of infants being dragged into the new world. Their claws curl and scratch along the cement where they are pinned in the red hot light of street lamps. Cats are supposed to die. They do not escape the fortune of breathing, the custody that skin holds. But not the calico, the baby alive but connected to IV, a living machine, warmed up with socks and crawled into carrier, too weak for medication as fleas hop out of dander heap and into bathtub, the cat’s head falls gently into its dish, the fleas make friends with the roaches. I’m second, I’m second, I’m second. I am the first revision, first thing written, exaggerated histories of the Lower East Side.