Pulse

It’s warm here, with my brother and sisters.

Crowded.

We writhe inside the small enclosures of our eggs.

We are the half-formed: brown translucent pods jammed

side by side in the dark hollows of our host.

Soon, our brood mother says. Long, serpentine, beautiful. Soon.

And then—the drop.

 

We are the fallen, flung from the sky, clustered

in brown globules on the shadow of a leaf.

Come closer, slow-moving snail!

We entice you with our shiny ovals.

Closer, closer.

You are a languid giant sailing across the leaves.

And you take the bait.

You swallow us down your gaping slime maw, and we

travel down the dark length of you.

There we grow.

We grow in this new dark, forming long tubes, interconnected.

We dig our tendrils into your neural circuits and drive you.

We allow you to travel

To where you want to go—for now—

places cool and moist and dark

Running your creeping circuits around

dark undersides of mushrooms and rotten logs.

 

We are the broodsacs.

As we grow, we spread out into your eyestalks

preferring the left tentacle over the right,

As we grow, we grow fonder of you, our lumbering ride

and life source

As we bloom, we dance and pulsate in bright green and yellow spirals

You cling to the darkness, giant snail, always

but we draw you to the light and

the warmth of the sun, which catch our colors,

(we pulse in light only)

We draw the energy for our dance

The dance of death

Drawing the eye of a new feathered host

Down, sharp beak, spearing into the soft flesh of you

And we are drawn into a familiar darkness, down, down—

 

The cycle begins again.

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