Little Gold Canoe

A little gold canoe rows across
the Mississippi brown floor.

I call it by its name: "Cockroach!"
Grip the toe end of my shoe,

slap and slam it, tear a paper towel,
shovel the hammered body

from the planks. Nights like this,
I lie awake and wonder

what am I allowed to murder
(within the laws of reason)

before sleep takes me, before
I drown in a river of gold canoes.

From The Cut Worm by Douglas Korb. Copyright © 2008 by Douglas Korb. Published by Bright Hill Press. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.