Amaris Feland Ketcham
LESSER STRIPETAIL SCORPION
Some important notes about scorpion husbandry:
all scorpions look alike, misidentified
by pet store clerks and other teenage entomologists
analyzing florescence under black light. Consult a copy
of Catalogue of the Scorpions of the World (1758-1998)
collected at your local Goodwill
shoved between Al Hurricane tapes and Care Bears VHS.
Mothers, cannibalistic for 430 million years. It’s hard
to find prey small enough
for early instars to eat, wingless fruit flies
must be mail-ordered , bred
as food, or pinhead crickets can be served
freshly killed and ground, or you can just allow
the young to cannibalize one another
until you have an instar one-inch-and-a-half long
with a solid flick and run defense.
On a scale of one to five skulls-and-crossbones,
he should have two: mild with edema, pain
lasting only thirty minutes in most adults,
envenomations still lethal
to grandparents and little boys
who stick their pudgy fingers
deep where they don’t belong.
AMARIS FELAND KETCHAM is usually involved in some combination of open space, white space, CMYK and RGB, flash nonfiction, long trails, f-stops, line breaks, and several Adobe Programs running simultaneously. She is working on a poetic inventory of the flora and fauna of New Mexico. Her creative work has recently been published in Creative Nonfiction, The Kenyon Review, Rattle, and the Utne Reader.