by Husayn Carnegie
two bodies sit adjacent on route to Ocho Rios
one a mantis
one her prey
you are very pretty the prey says to a spot around her knees
and he means it, because she is 
you’re a freak the mantis says to the hole between his eyes
and she means it, because he is
the prey isn’t so much prey
as he is a set of concentric circles—
when self sloughs off self enough
you get the pool of being seen here
the mantis is in every way a mantis
and is delighting in that fact
she is very pretty
and she plans to eat him
when the horse you bet on has a heart attack
right before the finish line
is as good a time as any
to stop gambling
maybe your life just isn’t very good maybe
it’s not supposed to get any better
all the while it is you who is making this story
eating these words and passing them through the channels 
of your failures into song
the breaking and the cadence 
the disquiet of this close
all the while it is you who is lightning 
teetering on the pivot
between existence and illusion
if you were a fan you would have no moving parts
and you wouldn’t even whisper
you would just sit there—a pool between two deserts