“only be afraid of the words you’re not saying”

They prefer darkness to loneliness. And when they speak, there is a hiss of moan.

A cockroach crawled slowly on the floor of my bedroom as I typed words out of my brain and into computer. My body tensed and screamed itself open. Quickly, I covered it with an empty brown mug, turned upside down. I expected it to scurry beneath my bed, but it allowed me to capture it.

This reminds me of the last time I saw a cockroach. Ten months ago right before springtime. Just after a break-up with a lover that left my skin charred and exposed. There was no need to chase this insect away as it had died before my eyes found it. Fear aside, I scooped it up and flushed it into the walls or wherever toilet water goes.

This time, though barely moving, it was alive. After brave roommate trapped it between porcelain and paper, she brought it outside. Go, she instructed.

Cockroaches were around during the dinosaurs. They have survived atomic bombs and wars. Gentrification and global warming.

try. I try to find an attribute attached to them, offering more than just disease and contagious fear. Now, I realize they are a reminder of resilience. And each time they find me, I am in need of this reminder. When lovers leave, we are tricked into thinking something is wrong with us.

So we make lists of what we should change about ourselves and when I write we, I mean, me.

There is elasticity within all of us. There is only so much that we can bend and twist until we find ourselves tangled.

And by we, I still mean me.

Although these cockroaches are difficult to look at, so is truth and loss. Survival is deliberate and these hissing species always find their way in. So when you think all of this is too difficult to bear, channel the cockroach. If they can remain, so can you.

And when I write you, I mean me too.