The Taxonomy of Spiders
August, webs draped on buildings like fuzz growing from the skin of the city’s segregated limbs. Along porch columns, house spiders with plump abdomen scurry towards the vibration of tangled wings. Silver sacks of eggs bounced along the breeze, poised to break. My heart was ready to let the dust crawl off beating like a billion fresh legs. Spindly bodies wound together recklessly. It reminds me of cobwebs built in the path of doorways, always certain to be destroyed. What’s worth the risk of putting yourself near the path of something larger? Time with its great strides left me crawling on the earth towards what no longer had wings to escape. This was the month a grass spider perched on my window undisturbed, its tunnelweb a fixture of the room, the pockets of space hardly touched, no longer mine. Watching it there, I considered the taxonomy of spiders, the rounded portions of the body, the crook of jittery legs, the pattern of eyes resting on the cephalothorax. If we came to fear a single instance of a vast ecology, could we also understand the beauty of its variation? A spider, in consideration of its symmetry, the translucency of its flesh through morning light and webs finally visible, moistened by dew, renders sticky nooks of the mind smooth and sorted. If striking away all that frightens rids the house of tangled corners, nothing would be left of ugliness to teach how beautiful we could become. So I left it there. My filth, my infestation. I let the weight of it crawl over me to finally ascend, an upturned cup and credit card lifting me away not as wings do.
Connor Drexler is currently searching for a career in community activism. He spends his life writing, reading, hiking in the woods, playing and singing music, and gardening. He hopes that people approach life with curiosity, and realize the goodness of doing something for its own sake.