It comes with the smell of water in the desert
of summer. August, and everything rust-colored.
It is only a myth told by the grown-ups to scare you
into eating a dish too rich for your flat stomach.
Then again, how quickly the arachnid disappears
beneath the siding of your childhood house.
As if it knew you meant some kind of harm. You’d set
an opaque vase over it while screaming curses.
You’d hide the over-done despotic fur legs.
Just the edge of this phobia makes the skin on your forearm crawl.
You would claw your scalp until it bled
to remove the demon that nests in your just-washed hair.
Judith Skillman, Washington, USA