My So-Called Larval Life


The executive wanted her larvae so I purchased the artificial diet

There was a gourmet guy selling vac-paks – no molting in the mouth

I acquiesced to the cubicle I salivated for mulberry leaves


Lemon yellow & lungless I breathed through small holes

Chewed on Instagrammed instar memories

Oh  – happy moth memories


Today in captivity I stare at pixels

Come visit my thorax come sleep in a roomier skin

We’ve lost the ability to fly

A spinning black – a production cycle



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Melissa Eleftherion is a writer, a librarian, and a visual artist. She is the author of field guide to autobiography (The Operating System, 2018), & nine chapbooks, including the forthcoming trauma suture (above/ground press, 2020). Born & raised in Brooklyn, Melissa now lives in Mendocino County where she manages the Ukiah Library, teaches creative writing, & curates the LOBA Reading Series. Recent work is available at

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