Miss Mantis Regrets

By Paul Ruta

I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to bite your head off.

I know you won’t hear my apology. Instead, let me confess how enthralled I was by your piercing eyes, gossamer wings and vivid green exoskeleton.

You were not like the others. Yes, my dear, there have been many others.

Our passion exploded into wildfire—rapture out of control.

Alas, it was just the once. I couldn’t stop myself from what happened next. Now you are but a tender, bittersweet memory.

I lost my heart to you, you lost your head to me.

For you, I pray.

Paul Ruta is a Canadian writer living in Hong Kong with his wife and a geriatric tabby called Zazu; his kids live on Zoom. Recent work appears in Cheap Pop, F(r)iction, Reflex Press, Ghost Parachute and Smithsonian Magazine. He reads for No Contact magazine. @paulruta