When I opened The London Review of Books
this morning while eating breakfast
I watched a period quit its place
at the end of a sentence
in a piece on Grecian
vase painting, skitter
down the margin
and like a trapeze artist
flip into the next article
on the state of things in Poland.

Astounded, I opened to Poland
and with my
period was a tiny spider
with eight legs, several eyes
and all the spiderish characteristics
you would expect
climbing a wall
or dreaming at the crux of a web.

So it wasn’t a manic
typo that caught my eye,
but a living being, a tiny
living thing with heart and lungs
and guts and eyes, driven
by hunger and sex and fear as
the rest of us are.

“Well, little sister,” I said
to the creature
(for lately I’ve been
talking to other
whether they gallop or fly
or tunnel their tentacles into the soil,
though I admit
I blabber away
so it’s a stilted conversation),

“how are things in Warsaw?”

A San Franciscan, Daniel Richman has published three novels, two books of poetry, a memoir, and a book on Greek myth.