Your Body Is Not Covered in Spiders


Your body is not covered in spiders.

There are no spiders slowly tracing their way across your back. Their little feet do not tap your skin. They are not traversing the valley of your shoulders, nor are they climbing, up, up, along your spine, their spindly legs delicate as a whisper.

No spiders carefully dig through your hair towards the nape of your neck. They do not pick their way, barely touching scalp. They do not thread their silk through your curls as they go, marking their path, remembering.

They are not inching closer to your mandible, because they are not there at all.

There are no spiders.

No spiders skitter over your unshod feet. They do not dart in the spaces between your toes. They are not lingering on your achilles. No spiders climb your ankle and into the bottom of your pantleg.

Spiders are not on the backs of your hands. Spiders are not in the crook of your elbow. Spiders are not waiting in the folds of your shirt, in the places that do not touch your skin, but will, once you move.

No spiders nestle snugly in the valley of your curves.

Spiders do not scamper in between your half-open lips. They do not hoist themselves over your teeth and slide on your wet pink tongue and shimmy down towards your stomach.

There are no egg sacs in your throat.

Yes; that is rain dripping from the boughs of trees and onto your temple and running down your cheeks. That is not spiders. And that, that is sweat beading on your shoulderblades and sliding over your body, not hundreds of thousands of infinitesimally small young ones. No spiderspawn are making you a home.

There are no spiders in the dusty cabinet into which you are reaching your hand. There are no spiders in your pocket. There are no spiders in the glove you put on, the stocking, the hat. There are no spiders in the darkened rooms, in the corners you cannot see.

No spider waits on your showerhead.

There is not a spider making its way carefully along the helix of your ear. It is not using you tragus as a foothold to fold itself small to fit into your ear canal. It is not wedging its way in through the small spaces, to your brain, and sinking its tiny pincers into the soft tissue of your cortex.

The spiders are not thinking about you. The spiders are not there.

Go to bed safely tonight, as there are no spiders between your sheets and your comforter, bodies crunching together as you wrap yourself in so much fabric, softer than you remember, too, and silkier. The irregular softness and the silk are things you have imagined. So to is the sensation of many tiny legs pricking at your flesh. You may sleep easy, because spiders are not wedged in the padding of your pillows, waiting to burrow out. They are not waiting. They are not there.

And if you think you hear eighty thousand limbs clicking in the night as you try to sleep, it is not the sound of spiders. It is something else, or it is nothing at all.