Cockroach Tea Party by Jennifer MacBain-Stephens

First, there is the dilemma of which legs to put where. They have six hairy legs so do I put two legs under the table and one pair on top to handle the child sized tea kettle? Or, is it better to put two pairs of legs on top of the white tablecloth to help balance out the weight of the thorax? When they are dead the legs fall off so easily. So many roaches left semi-squashed on the floor. You might think it gross, me handling cockroaches this way—but who else will be their caretaker? So easily smushed by a heavy boot or metal book end. We all can’t go to every party. We all bring dirty things to the table.

Jennifer MacBain-Stephens graduated from New York University and currently
lives in Iowa. She is the author of the chapbook EveryHerDies, (forthcoming)
from Emerge Literary Journal Publications. She has poems published in
Superstition Review, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Thirteen Myna Birds,
Rufous City Review, Stirring, Eunoia Review, and others. She participated in
Iowa City’s 2013 Poetry in Public Project and recently nominated for Best of the