Graphic by Melissa Santoyo / North by Northwestern

My head is a home for insects.

Infested with invasive species,

Eating away at any clarity.

I cannot hear my own thoughts.

I hear the buzzing of a dying fly,

Low and slow, rasping and discordant.

The whine of mosquitoes, cicadas screeching.

A deafening cacophony, devolving with no conductor.

A symphony of distortion.

I feel the frenzied battering of soft moth wings

As they careen from thought to thought.

The prickle of spiders’ legs

Creeping down my cortices.

Ants marching the walls of my skull.

Clouds of gnats obscure the air

And spiders coat my mind in webs.

The bees construct their droning hives.

Wasps build up their layered nests.

I cannot see myself any longer

I disappear among my intrusive guests.

If only I could clear the swarms.

If only I could quiet them.

I long to focus, to live as myself again.

But I share my brain

With pests who only wish to scream.