Antibody

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Antibody

I pulled the tiny mantis from the spider web:
barely a fingernail of stillness and fight.

The strands, delicate and deadly as time,
wrapped forelegs as if in actual prayer.

It’s not pleading, and I’m not asking
for recognition as I remove the silk

And shred the spider’s web.
We build whole faiths on this foundation,

That something larger than us can disentangle
us from reality. When nothing comes

to remove us from dis-ease, our hope suspends
us till we can’t move. But I can act, not as god

but as antibody, I can act because I’m of this world,
enough death within me to save a life

and save what would be killed without killing
what would kill. I don’t claim to be fair

as I leave it on the porch rail to finish freeing itself.
Whole faiths have fallen on less.

Some things spread, and some things don’t.
We light the match to burn it. Our mistake

was believing we were loved before we felt
the love, then believe we need to earn it.

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