Folio · 2017

Life Bug

Maxwell Kee

As my cat lay sleeping in

a curl of fluff beside me,

a bug crawled across the blanket

next to where I sat on the couch.

It startled me, as I am a coward and

I swung

my hand down and crushed its small body,

a baby praying

mantis, albino, inside because of

the cold, alive here this late in the


because it was too warm outside for winter;

was only in the house as a survival practice–would

have preferred to be outside, but the climate…

alive here because I wasn’t out protesting


not out fighting

hard enough against

the damage being done

to our climate by corporations

equipped to do

whatever they pleased,

shoot pollutants into the air,

frack the rocks to pieces,

not a care;

waste water while polluting the rest

causing my native brothers and sisters,

or so I called them,

to leave homes filled with

warmth and safety and comfort

just like mine where I stayed,

go out and stand in roads,

shout in protest,

signs in hand

fighting for our water,

for our lives,

while getting beaten and hosed,

caged, maced, blinded, blown apart,


so that our climate could endure,

so that it could be clean,

so that there would be a more stable

future of humanity,

of our children,

of life itself.

So that the world could be

cooler, more stable for

life such that writhing in hopeless

agony on my coffee table.

I watched the bug twitching its legs,

jerking in a pain it could never escape

outside the sweet satisfaction

of death.

I reached over, pressing a thumb

into its intricate little


The twitching stopped.

Folio · 2017