a spider breathed on my neck

by Maddy Freeman

I suppose I’m getting too close 

to the daddy long legs spider 

who refuses to touch the 

sea-foam green and pearly

white tiles of my shower’s floor 

because whenever I stand under 

scalding hot water we commune 

in a kind of tacit peace where

the water drops and delicate 

soap suds on my porcelain skin 

and the steam writing on the opaque

door never make me question my phobias.

but when I extend my arm to the spider,

who dangles above my soapy head, 

I realize that he will never reach back to me.


then I realize my skin isn’t enough, 

and marbles dipped in indigo paint

really aren’t the same as holding

the galaxy in the delicate palms 

of your hand.


my mirror stares back at me with

identical hummingbird shell blue eyes

that flicker with the prospect of finding 

gold flakes buried deep within (her) irises.


But that’s just glass

And the spiders will always stare;

           and you’ll never be able to see anything 

                       beyond the darkened shades of acrylic and  

                       blue dreams that used to pour out of my 

once rosy imagination