This building is so nice, clean and well kept, and yet

your horrible, flat bodies fit just so under the door

and you come in sniffing, tasting, seeking to touch all my stuff.

I like to think I’m a tolerant person but I draw the line right here.

Literally, with borax. A ward against your disease vectors.

 

This was the moment my “cup and release” policy fell apart.

You will instead meet the business end of the vacuum cleaner.

You are not like the polite spiders posting up in my houseplants

or the hapless flies who circle and circle looking for the way out like

“sorry! So Sorry! This is not where I’m supposed to be.”

 

this is different. this is war.

i will scrub and mop and anoint

with peppermint and clove oil.

i may consider poison, if i absolutely have to. 

it’s bad for the food chain;

Let’s not let it come to that.

 

When I packed up all my things to leave him,

climbing over mountains of detritus, piles piled and unpiled endlessly

I picked up a duffle bag only to find one of your kin staring up at me

eyes fixed, antenne wiggling. We considered each other.

She came in through the hole cut in the floor, probably, and why not?

 

A permeable boundary sends a mixed message.

I know where I made my mistakes. Ambiguity, hesitation, and appeasement

must have looked like an invitation to ignore my discomfort

must have looked like a wide-open door, from a certain perspective.

I get it, I really do. But I know myself better now.

 

So the first things I bought for my apartment consisted of

a welcome mat, a table and chairs, and a compliment of cleaning supplies.

My house is ready for guests. Tidy, comfortable. Cheese and lemonade

standing at the ready for the unexpected drop-in, but please, wipe your feet.

We don’t want to attract bugs.