Lumbricus Terrestris (anthropocene)
When my doctor sat down on her stool, I told her: I think I’m an earthworm. She was halfway through dialing the psychiatric department on the next floor before I could coax my tongue into the next sentence. No…not…well…they have five hearts, you know? Her index finger hovered over the number seven. And sometimes my heart gets beating so fast I can feel it thundering in my hands and my feet and my chest, so…she glanced up at me, unblinking. Um, I gripped the edge of the plastic table, do you compost? She shook her head. Oh, well, I do. I like to compost apple peels and melon rinds and onions and all sorts of delicious things because worms have taste buds on their skin— they taste the things they touch! It’s a double-whammy for the senses. Slowly, as if to avoid startling me, she replaced the receiver and reluctantly motioned for me to continue. And, I mean, I’m sure you can remember how, on the playground, kids who were more cruel than curious would cut worms into pieces? And they would live! Even half-gone—soft flesh scraped against the asphalt—they would live. She nodded. I think I’ve let too many people cut me up. And I guess I was just wondering if you had anything for that.
Max Gillette is a third-year English major at Central Michigan University concentrating in creative writing. They are a member of the English honors society Sigma Tau Delta and the Chippewa Marching Band. Some of their other poems have been published in CMU’s Central Review and Cornell’s Rainy Day Magazine. They are currently working on an original chapbook and plan on pursuing an MA in creative writing after graduation.