Phoebe Marrall: The Gray Spider

Without announcement
or effort at display
or notice of me except
as I make shadow and motion,
a spider hangs below the soap bar.

She, or he, cradles the air
with legs pencil-line thin,
and waves one to search past
its own cradling and fragility,
knowing empty space very well.

I, we, whole parts of me,
seeing palest gray before enamel white,
refrain from immediate transferring;
I only speak in invitation.
Would you like to hang elsewhere?

It answers very clearly, so I
sickle across invisibility with
an orange pencil: a trapeze made
for gentling a spider’s rope over
to a new landing place.

Those unsteady legs, the gray bulb
of its body now right side up,
a sense that guides scrambling,
equips the air-cradler to escape
and leave an empty crescent in my air.

For more on Phoebe Marrall, please see our Authors page.