The Chilopod

︎︎︎ C. James

︎ July 22, 2021

The chilopod bears a shield
And kills other insects.
But I killed it first
like a needless cigarette.
Mandarin has no verb “to be”
It smells like somewhere else
You think that’s air you’re breathing?
I’m one with shit so
when I saw the black mold
I saw a band-aid
And I was not afraid

C. James
was born in Texas in 1991. Raised in California, he moved to New York after schooling and pursued various jobs. This piece is from an unpublished collection, A Fish Fry at the Elk Club. It was written over winter from a small home in the Hudson Valley, where he lives and works as a cook.