Materialized by Ash Howell on Monday, March 20th 2023.

Content warning: body transformation

Would you still love me if I were a worm?

Maureen showed up to work this morning a mouse. No sick day she’s scampering everywhere sharing stale circulated air. She sat at my desk next to her namesake nose twitching whiskers tickling nibbling my fingers eager eyes searching for a snack.

H.R. sent her home for the day with pay and a tiny tupperware of gruyere.

At lunch I heard a man in Florida recovered and I heard the man in Florida is a hoax.

At six o’clock the anchor with the deep-sea voice (the one that you hate) said the shortages are expected to continue.

At six fifteen the anchor who snorts Chick tracts off her King James Bible announced (with lurid delight) (I don’t know why you like her) that Tom Hanks woke up as a tiny crab. The kind kids keep in aquariums? Terrariums? Glass cages.

Will you still love me when I am a worm?

I still love you. Your voice rumbling in the darkness / Your song in the morning. Your arms around me / Your wings outstretched. Your hands on my skin / Your feathers on my finger. Your eyes / Yes still your eyes. I still love you and your eyes are still hungry when you stare at me.

Do you love me now even as you peck and peck as we dance as nature would have us dance, twisting bodies your mouth on my skin, even as you tear me apart segment by segment still still still

Ash Howell (they/them) is a human. They live with another human, a very small human, and two very lazy dogs near Lake Michigan. Find them online @AshHowellWrites.