I haven’t got butterflies in my stomach. They’re more like the mantises you were showing me this morning, the strange and familiar: the orchid mantises with their jaws like mauve petals, the South American dead leaf mantises that make their mating displays in dark drab brown, the spiny flower mantises that are all teeth, even their blossoms. As I curled beneath the emerald green of your sheets, you kissed my forehead and told me that praying mantises only tear the heads off of their mates because they’re hungry. If she’s just a little peckish she’ll settle for one of his eyes. I wonder if you think I’m going to do that to you.
Avery Nguyen (they/them) reads and writes from MIT, where they are a chemical engineering undergrad and moonlight alternately as a materials scientist, nuclear engineer, and words enthusiast. They tweet @systellura.