In time the queen, pregnant with
her own egotism, oviposits
a worm in moist rainforest gut. At once
it begins drinking its host’s
strangeness, swelling with native blood.
by tropical air, the fetus develops
a foreign tumescence, organs gnawed clean
by the larva which expels
hunger into its veins.
Long after it has excised itself the orphaned host
sluggishly slurs the language of its
parasite: its tongue
will never be its own, shaped instead
in the body-plan of another.