by Diannely Antigua

Then it rains again. The ants find their way
to the kitchen counter where I spilled a little sugar, 
the spider by the nightstand is the second to last 
lover I’d want to wake up next to. The doctor says
I have an abscess on my tonsil and for three days
I can’t swallow my spit without wincing. The wind 
makes the house creak which sounds
like someone trying to break into my sick nest. 
At night from the window, I see six deer 
eating from the bushes, and I am glad to witness
this all-you-can-eat buffet. WebMD says 
I could die, but I already knew that. 
My beloved and I argue through a screen, 
and it’s the first time I hear how pathetic 
this voice can be. Then I smash the spider 
with my shoe. And the hail starts again. 
In the morning, the dead spider vibrates 
under the swarm of ants covering it, eating. 

Diannely Antigua is a Dominican American poet and educator, born and raised in Massachusetts. Her debut collection Ugly Music (YesYes Books, 2019) was the winner of the Pamet River Prize and a 2020 Whiting Award. She received her BA in English from the University of Massachusetts Lowell where she won the Jack Kerouac Creative Writing Scholarship; and received her MFA at NYU where she was awarded a Global Research Initiative Fellowship to Florence, Italy. She is the recipient of additional fellowships from CantoMundo, Community of Writers, Fine Arts Work Center Summer Program, and was a finalist for the 2021 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and chosen for the Best of the Net Anthology. Her poems can be found in Poem-a-Day, Poetry Magazine, The American Poetry Review, Washington Square Review, The Adroit Journal, and elsewhere. She resides in Portsmouth, NH, where she is the Poet Laureate. For more information visit