Cockroach look-alike

pic credit

I squirm into position
cheeks evenly distributed
pasted gently to white plastic
my twirly tucked and aimed
feet planted on the cold green tile.


Down to my right
next to a trickle of leaking water
is a cockroach.
I call him Jervis
as he has no discernable method
to relay his name.
He lie upon his winged back
a silent witness to my solitary ritual.
Having little in common
I remain silent,
awkward tension waxing.
I cannot perform my… duties.
“How is the foraging?”
Roaches don’t forage, do they?
Scavenge perhaps, but what a dirty sounding word.
It was out there.
Too late to apologize.
I did not intend offense
to categorize
to stereotype.
I have friends that are roaches.
Perhaps he is sleeping.
Roaches don’t sleep, do they?
Like sharks?
Perhaps a submissive gesture then?
After all, I am the Alpha male.
I reach down to tickle Jervis
on the belly, thorax, what have you,
and his left leg twitches in protest.
I have been presumptuous, assuming.
I retract, stare forward.
I was only trying to be friendly.
“Are you injured, sir?” I yell,
self-conscious of my own ire.
“Excuse me?” he retorts.
I am shocked, recalcitrant.
The person in the next stall leaves abruptly.
I do not believe they cleaned themselves.
It was not Jervis who spoke.
My embarrassment is acute,
like the pains in my abdomen.
I stand quickly.
“GOOD DAY TO YOU, SIR!” I scream,
and leave.


Some stereotypes are true, I suppose.
Goddamn roaches.