They sidled in at midnight, through the leaky pipe
I’d always meant to fix, wove their coral lattices,
set up their salt-brined den,
& shrieked at me from its damp recesses.

Or perhaps they’d always been there, grown like a fungus
in a cellar made of mud
while behind the stacked cans of beans, my mother wept.

Not everything curled within the brain’s seashell folds
wants to be explored,
not every toadstool memory seeks illumination

Yet how they call to me from the depths,
& braid my feet into silvered nets.

Ingrid L. Taylor’s stories and poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Horse Egg Literary; Zooscape; Legs of Tumbleweed, Wings of Lace: An Anthology of Literature by Nevada Women; Gaia: Shadow and Breath, vol.3; and others. She has an MFA from Pacific University and is a former artist-in-residence at Playa. She lives in the desert with a black cat, a Newfoundland dog, and a yard full of pigeons. When she’s not writing, she works as a veterinarian for an international nonprofit. For news about her writing and adventures with her animals, find her on Instagram @tildybear.