Katsaridaphobia/Gospel According to Cockroaches

By Aditya Shankar


And the insect haters, repellent sprayers, broom

wielders will eventually reside beneath soil:

the second life. The hand that swats thy loved

ones will lie defenseless. Time of cockroaches

and oppressed shall arrive.


Soil will erode like the layers of sandwich. The

one who seeks will traverse its depth. The one

who licks the world shall know and conquer.


Our itchy legs shall crawl and penetrate the fire

in the flesh and the temptation of the wood coffin.


He who comes digging for forefathers and lost

cities shall tremble at our conquest and return to

house of darkness, referred hereafter as hell.


Punish them with your touch. Tease them

with your shadow. Crawl in their nightmares.

Appear as rarely as God among sinners.


And when you take an avatar, infest his cup-

board and attic with the thousand children you

beget. Fear shall have no face.


The army of your lineage shall be the

messenger of colour. Fire, soil, and life beneath

shall have your shade.


Eat the sleep of men and women from whose

country, the messenger never returns.


Bore holes in their books and clothes. Plough their

notions until they turn into roads that lead nowhere.

Aditya Shankar is a Pushcart and Best of the Net nominated Indian poet, flash fiction author, and translator. His work has appeared in international journals and anthologies of repute and translated into Malayalam and Arabic. Books: After Seeing (2006), Party Poopers (2014), and XXL (Dhauli Books, 2018). He lives in Bangalore, India.

One reply on “Katsaridaphobia/Gospel According to Cockroaches”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s