Queen of Bugs

At six years old I ran out of the house
every morning wearing little

white panties with three lines of white lace
my tiny nipples a smear of blush pink

barely visible at all while Mommy chatted
with the neighbors      they

stood around as I whipped by into the
garden—no not a garden at all but my

kingdom of bugs      I heard them whisper
about putting clothes on me…….that I was

too old to run around nearly nude but
I wanted to feel my skin on dirt and roll in the warm grass

dig holes in the ground with my big toe
my bugs were waiting     garden spiders plump and furry yellow

caterpillars and worms fat as sausages
I loved hearing the bees buzz around me     ants tickled

as they walked across my bare feet and
who knows what was tangled in my

long messy hair        their throne………..
princess of centipedes    grasshoppers even

earwigs big black beetles and the spider’s
web, my altar of sacrifice—but only the bad bugs……..

every day I served the large chocolate brown
spider hidden in the corner of the shed her

breakfast—black ants and horseflies caught
in the pool       a dying ladybug deserved

a proper burial and those chubby earthworms
were pall-bearers    and once a praying mantis

visited me among the tomato plants—me……..
a naked dirty thing in a pile of mud peering

into an anthill with bugs in my hair, between my toes,
in a jar under the bed, in my hand……..


Donna Dallas studied Creative Writing and Philosophy at NYU’s Gallatin School and was lucky enough to study under William Packard, founder and editor of the New York Quarterly. She has work published or forthcoming in 34th Parallel, Anti-Heroin Chic, The Opiate, Sick Lit Magazine, Quail Bell Magazine, Beautiful Losers and Chiron Review.

Jury S. Judge is an internationally published artist, photographer, writer, poet, and political cartoonist. Her “Astronomy Comedy” cartoons are also published in Lowell Observatory’s quarterly publication, The Lowell Observer. She has been interviewed on the television news program, “NAZ Today” for her work as a political cartoonist. Her artwork has been widely featured in literary magazines such as Dodging The Rain, The Tishman Review, Open Minds Quarterly, Blue Moon Review, and The Ignatian Literary Journal. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BFA from the University of Houston-Clear Lake in 2014.