What should have been but never was.jpg

Issue 1

McKenzie Zalopany

Spider, Baby

I worry a spider
will climb into
my vagina
lay eggs & leave

no note text consent
making me a daddy
long-legged widower.

She could’ve died
after laying
them her prosoma
puckered inside,
crisp.
Legs in the air,
spiderlings scuttling
out silk beds by her
body out my body
in warm Spring.

I’d raise them,
all sixty to six hundred.

People will say I’m     brave.
They’ll think I was     asking for it,
                                  should’ve worn undies,
                                  prayed more,
                                  washed my makeup off,
                                  mulched the backyard.

The babies only live a year or two
& I’d hold their tiny coffins made
from cedar & pine tree bark
six centimeters below sand.
Mourn the babies
but still feel her
inside.
Her body would remain
until my human baby
pushs her out
an egg I’d lay
on my own.


McKenzie Zalopany is a creative writing student at the University of South Florida. In 2017, she received the Estelle J. Zbar award for her poem, Cat Call. Her work has appeared in Five:2:One Magazine and Funny in Five Hundred. 

Emily Corwin