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The Story of Two Spiders and a Human Being

Aaron February 19, 2015
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The Story of Two Spiders and a Human Being
by Aaron Zerah

One day, a man, a human being
Woke up and walked to the kitchen.
Still in his waking, he saw

A very small, nearly translucent
Spider hanging in the middle
Of an empty glass.

“Ah,” he thought, “I’ll shake
That spider free so it can live.
And so he did.

A few moments later
He wandered over to a spot
Where avocados and other fruits lay happily in bowls.

There on the wall above the counter
A dark, small shape with many legs.
His hand lashed out and crushed it.

It was of course instinct
That had moved the hand
Of this particular human being this day.

In the depth of his brain, his mind,
He had assumed that small, dark shape
With the many legs was a mosquito,

The same kind of mosquito
Who had bitten his old mother
The year before and made her so sick.

But as soon as his hand
Hit the wall, no, actually
Just as it was about to hit

He realized, “No, that is not
A mosquito; it’s just another spider.
I have killed that spider!”

Then he reflects. “What a thing it is
To be a human being.
First I save a spider and then

I kill one. What a thing it is
To be a spider. One is
Rescued from the hands of us

And another is destroyed.
Splattered on the wall.
Again, he is moved to act,

This time by the combination
Of instinct and desire to
Wipe away the dark stain

Of the dead spider with his hand.
He cannot go back, this human being
But he cannot go forward either.

Midway through the wiping
He realizes that it is not possible then
To completely clean the mark of the spider

From the wall. He thinks,
Do I really want to?
Now I will remember

Every time I pass this spot
Or, at least, I intend to remember
That once all this took place

With two spiders and a human being
In a kitchen on a particular day
When that human being became awake.

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