While Chewing, They Seemed Grateful

by Joanna Ellsworth

A caterpillar took out a second
mortgage on his bungalow
in Vancouver to cover the cost of private
preschool for the larvae. The ink
on the paper assaulted his antennae
with the scent of sacrifice.

He sets his alarm for odd
increments of time and wants
nothing more than to sleep for eight
consecutive hours and thirty-seven minutes.

Second mortgages are cheaper than the first
mortgages. Mostly because you die
before you have to pay it all back. The larvae
slithered through the yellow shag
carpet to ask for a drink of water. The caterpillar
folded the bank forms into a funnel and fed
the signatures to his young.