The Vicious Cycle, by Jason M. Kolodzyk

Stanza 1: The Decomposition of Things


It came to this

we are the rotting corpse of the past, you told me,

my insect flesh folded and recoiled at this revelation,

my pulse faded as you released my shriveling hands

time and breath are short, you whispered

my hands, now skeletal claws with thin-stretched, segmented skin,

reached out to you from within the mangled mess of disintegrating antennae

relations between us had been viciously beaten,

broken into a horrid reality—your admissions are hard to navigate

are you telling the truth? 

are you espousing lies?

in a flash of insight, I, decomposing into a putrid puddle,


reflecting the truth of things, on your words: We are no longer one!

my compound eyes are absorbed and you melt away

however, it is not dead

it begins again

Stanzas 2 and 3: The Chrysalis

Cloaked in a transparent trenchcoat

tethered and shifting

with aching, ravenous hunger

Eating mouthfuls of viscous nutrients like a newborn

a distended belly full of life-giving fluid

I notice your reemergence

I watch you through newly formed eyes

fixated on your shadow, what I see, the witnessed truth,

is a lie, a corruption of life, and still, like-death,


will this life be different?

the mysteries are enticing

your face is shifting

it is not you, is it?

This possibility is frightening, exhilarating

It causes life-blood to course through my membranes

I focus on that idea, heartbeat gaining strength. 


Amniotic fluids bathe me like a cleansing river

Limbs are stifled against the walls and I press to escape

A prison, a blinding confinement

I observe only opaque forms passing

Outward pressure caresses my pupa sac like a jingling key, a chance at freedom,

I flick at it in fear…and hope

It is a growing temptation, a thirst in the desert

No proof of outside life lends an honest fear

Yet, I am ready and accept it

Still, I wonder, are you real or a shade imprinted?

I know the answer–

Equal in my comfort, I relish absence

More with less—is it possible?

a new world sought,

I ebb toward it, an ache throughout my stretching body


Stanza 4: Resurrection


A burst of force

A breath of air

My wings extend, antennae also

I lift into the atmosphere, glorious colors glimmering as a prism

My first thoughts emitted to the world sing with energy:

This life will renew


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