Kingdom of Nothing

/ /

a tarantula can survive
more than two years without eating /
yesterday I ate a cheeseburger
large enough to feed a continent
of tarantulas / last week
I lined my bookshelves with novels
I’ll never open / outside
a rusted truck rests
in an abandoned field /

once I knew a guy who robbed a guy
and invested the money in Timberlands
no one ever bought / he swore
he’d sell the boots for double the price
and double his earnings / fifty thousand
spiders might inhabit an acre of open field /
the South is full of open fields
my mouth is full of spiders /

my urologist prefers to rest his hand
on my leg when discussing lab results /
his face studies numbers and percentages /
he says something about bad
and good / something about thirty-three million
and low motility /

my earliest memory is believing I was gone die
when I was young / the neighborhood bully
punched me in the stomach
and everyone laughed / I remember
how a punch is enough to change your God /
how a punch will leave you counting fairies /
how silence follows the most severe pains /

I don’t make a sound after he says low motility
or surgery / drive home with a tarantula inching
down my throat / I remember someone saying
moths don’t have stomachs / I remember
the afternoon my wife discovered
I was full of kingdoms / whole kingdoms
upon kingdoms of nothing / thirty-three million
nothing kingdoms inside my nothing body