Matthew Zingg


Nils shows me a picture on his phone (My buddy in Iraq sent this):
a camel spider—fat bellied—barely visible—its body

the color of its world: what better proof

of ordinary betrayals:

in Karbala a vegetable truck enters the marketplace—
explosives tucked in with the beets—the eggplant—

while ninety klicks away an uncertain man in Bagdad
shakes his boots out after breakfast:

the camel spider—Solifugae—is capable of sprinting up to ten miles
an hour—faster than some men can run barefoot through the desert—

slower –by sixty times—than the flame speed of an IED:

the proportion of body to charge is relative:

the AP dispatch this morning reports thirty-three dead—a picture
of a man—two boys—walking through the ruptured produce—

inspecting the site reads the caption:

notice— the expression in relation to a language without a people:

what I remember of the Gulf War bombing raids was televised
into every Applebee’s—the clean monotone of the sight—

the desert flowered in stop motion—the gargled affirmative—

camel spiders over there as plentiful as landmines and sand
Nils points out—you’d think twice about crossing the street—

twice while falling asleep:

before bed I find a nest of baby spiders in the alarm clock—
crush as many tiny bodies as I can beneath my thumb:

I feel too heroic for this world.

Matthew Zingg's work appears in or is forthcoming from Cider Press Review, The Madison Review, Blackbird, The Awl, The Rumpus, Front Porch Review and Opium Magazine among others. He received his MFA from Adelphi University and currently lives in Baltimore.