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Earwigs

I have never noticed them before
these insects with the curving pincers on
their hindquarters

Jada and Chani call them "pincher bugs"
I ask if earwigs really do crawl into
people's ears & possibly bore into their brains

they say they don't think so,
but Tyrone said his cousin had one
stuck in his ear once
they like moist, dark spaces

every night I check around the bed
& flick them off the canvas walls,
send them scurrying

on our last night,
I sleep in a cabin with Evan
so I hear the story later
how Chani ran screaming to Mouna's house
& Mouna poured oil into her ear,
how the earwig fell out