I can talk
about him

because he is small.
A bedbug, at night
in bed—

he takes
from the body

a meal of blood.
The body lays there

as the bedbug
slips a small
proboscis in.

He sheds
his exoskeleton,

slightly larger.
I can still talk

about how he gropes

for another
bedbug to

In the dark
creases, a bedbug

can orgasm anywhere.

And the other
teems with semen.
When I talk

about a bedbug
my heartbeat
gets rapid.

He grows larger
with each meal

until the bedbug
is the size of a man
with skin and a face

like a man's.
Far away, I open

a book; a bedbug
scurries out,

hits the ground.
I stomp.

I don't think
I can talk

about it. In the dark,

I make a sound.
A sucking in.

Isn't that talking?

To bring the situation

into myself
to hold it in
and not let it

out. Like
a meal of blood.
Can a bedbug

grow to such a large size?

And can I still call
him a bedbug?

And am I just imagining?

Can this really happen?

Or am I in a metaphor?

I convulse.
I hyperventilate.
I dig my fingers

into the sheets.
I feel a bedbug
and lose it.

In a classroom,
I explain

the power
of metaphor.
Even then

I try to talk
about him—

how when
I see only one

I know there are more.