After Our Last Night Together

by Elizabeth Catanese


the spider you failed to kill

crept onto my inner thigh.


It was hungry,

had been trying to escape for days.


I saw its red eyes glow,

its body dart away.


Or maybe I saw dirt

left from when I pinched the flesh


you once caressed.


And the red, not arachnid eyes,

but specks of my own fresh blood.


It was a long time ago,

so I couldn’t tell you


whose spider it was to kill

if it was a spider


or why it is still

so hungry.

Elizabeth Catanese (she/her)  has poems that have most recently appeared in Ran Off With the Star Bassoon, The Night Heron Barks, The Pittsburgh Poetry Review, The Stillwater Review, OVS, Anomalous Press, Referential Magazine, and Calyx, and her most recent books include The College Mindfulness Workbook (Kendall Hunt, 2021), STEAM Jobs You’ll Love: Architecture and Construction (Rourke, 2018) and Mt. Olympus Theme Park (ABDO, 2021). Elizabeth’s mixed media paintings and installations have been exhibited in galleries at the College of Saint Elizabeth, Bryn Mawr College, Mercer County College, and the Philadelphia Sketch Club. Her Instagram account @singlemomtwins provides a cartoon chronicle of her life as a parent. Elizabeth lives in Philadelphia with her toddler sons and is an associate professor of English at Community College of Philadelphia.