I. The Fireflies


There was once

a time when the fireflies

had made a home out of me.


One evening,

long after the sun

had surrendered itself

to the hazed horizon

and the pregnant moon,

they had come to my window,

golden freckles of light

twinkling playfully

in the dimness.


What exactly

prompted their gravitation

towards me,

I will never be entirely certain of,

though I have my theories.


Maybe it was the

warm glass of milk

sitting on my bedside table.

Or maybe

they had simply mistaken

the peppers of stardust

laced atop my eyelashes

for their own kin.


Or perhaps–

and most likely–

it had been

the murmur of poetry

on my lips:


…watch how they dart about the trees

in whimsical harmony,

how they rise up towards the dark sky

in the hopes that, someday,

they too will become one with

the constellations that blink

so brilliantly in the blackness.



Perhaps this what had captivated them so–

a homage to the fireflies themselves.

Perhaps this is

why they had drifted towards me,

as if in some fanciful trance,

weightless as paper lanterns.


And how sweet they were

as they twirled about the ringlets

in my hair and

nuzzled their small frames

against my cheek

and fingertips.


How sweet they were–

that is,

until the bees came.


II. The Bees


They made lightning bugs

of my fireflies,

whose soft luminescence was replaced

with a violent stream of sparks,

one resembling something close

to the bursting of a fluorescent bulb


And so came the lightning,

the firefly’s only defence against

the approaching swarm,

their only ammunition

in the impending battle:

fireflies versus


both in want

of my nectared



But the lightning

was no reasonable match

for the bees,

with their

large, gelatinous figures

and the persistence

of their stabbings;

annihilated were the fireflies,

carcasses crumbling to soot,

their innards,

still glowing,

smeared across my collarbone

like war paint.


Victorious and

humming menacingly,

the bees then crawled

into my ears

and my mouth

where they proceeded

to feast on their spoils and plunders:

the honey,

that they so cruelly

stole from me.


And once the honey was gone,

so were the bees,

bellies full,

antennae sticky,

their use for me

fulfilled and therefore



III. The Spiders


The final hosts

were drawn to

what the bees had left behind:

the inconsolable emptiness

of my being,


They marked their territory

with cobwebs–

spun carelessly

into my arteries

and windpipe.


Breath dwindling and

heartbeat diminishing

I tried to remember the fireflies–

the light–

as the arachnophobia

threatened to devour me.


While “Infestation” is not necessarily abstract in terms of comprehending the language, I would say that it is abstract in terms of the message it conveys. That being said, I believe it is capable of being manageably interpreted. But, just for the sake of clarity, and for the sake of sharing with my audience members an interpretation that may differ from their own, I would like to take a moment to discuss the reasoning behind my poetic choices.

To put it simply, “Infestation” is meant to be an allegory for depression, more specifically one’s descent into depression. Part one, The Fireflies, represents happiness; it is through happiness that an individual is able to instil within themselves a sense of peace and comfort, something that can be likened to the placid glow of a firefly. However, just as one’s happiness may fall victim to sadness, the fireflies fall victim to the bees in part two. Thus, the bees themselves represent depression–specifically the melancholy that is often associated with depression–something that is capable of destroying any source of contentment present within an individual’s life. In a like manner, the bees devour the “nectar” and “honey”–a sweet tenderness, which is a trait an individual would have most likely possessed before they descended into their depression. Furthermore, the bees also made “lightning bugs of [my] fireflies.” In other words, the bees deprive the fireflies of their softness by forcing them to become bearers of lightning; the fireflies resort to violence in an attempt to defend themselves against the bees’ vicious assaults. Similarly, those who have suffered from depression may often feel as though their illness has caused them to become harsh; because it is this harshness that seems to act as a sort of defence against the sadness, much like the fireflies used their harshness to defend themselves against the bees.

Something I also took into consideration while writing this piece is that depression is not necessarily just about being sad. On the contrary, depression is often accompanied by a myriad of unfavourable emotions and even a lack of emotion for that matter; those who struggle with depression often find that there are moments when they are emotionless, moments when they find that they have succumbed to a seemingly irremediable numbness. This premise is explored in the last part of this poetry series–The Spiders. The spiders themselves are meant to highlight the emptiness a depressed individual might experience in lieu of sadness–something that occurs when the “bees” have gone away. I figured this was an appropriate idea to finalize within the poetry series, as my main objective was to accurately encapsulate the destructive nature of depression; after all, there is nothing quite as destructive as feeling nothing at all, for it is emotion–whether it be positive or negative emotion–that makes us human. To be without emotion is to be dehumanized. And that is precisely what depression is: dehumanizing.


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4 thoughts on “Infestation

  1. Dear Best Friend,

    Wow. Honestly, when you first told me about your idea for your free choice blog, I was intrigued. And after reading that blog, I can say that I am honestly blown away–the idea of using nature–and bugs, no less–as a representation of depression baffles my mind because it is something I have never seen before, and yet it is something that worked so brilliantly. I loved how you almost structured this in an ‘initially, then, finally’ format, because it worked so perfectly with what you were trying to do, and it made the piece very unified and coherent overall.

    I think part of what I loved so much about this piece, apart from the brilliant writing, was that it almost seemed to flow in circles, if that makes any sense–like a full circle effect, both in terms of the beginning and the end, starting with an infestation and ending with the narrator still being infested, but also in the way you transitioned from each infestation; it almost felt like a purge–just when she gets rid of one, another comes and inhabits her. (I don’t know if that made any sense at all, but it makes sense in my head so. . . ;P)

    Also, to go back to the ‘initially, then, finally’ point, I really loved how you numbered your stanzas, for that also worked with that structure, and made the shifts very very clear and pronounced. The structure of this piece, and the style you used to write it, was honestly breathtaking, not to mention that your voice was so prevalent throughout the whole thing.

    I think some of my favourite line, if I had to pick, were:

    “the bees then crawled

    into my ears

    and my mouth

    where they proceeded

    to feast on their spoils and plunders:

    the honey,

    that they so cruelly

    stole from me.”


    “The final hosts

    were drawn to

    what the bees had left behind:

    the inconsolable emptiness

    of my being,

    They marked their territory

    with cobwebs–

    spun carelessly

    into my arteries

    and windpipe.”


    “There was once

    a time when the fireflies

    had made a home out of me.”

    I honestly don’t have anything to offer in terms of improvement, because the poetry was gorgeous and brilliant, and the explanation was so enlightening to read. I’m sorry that this comment has been all over the place–I just loved this piece so much and didn’t even know where to begin.



    Best Friend

    1. Best friend,

      Thank you so much for your sweet comment–it made my day! I’m glad that you enjoyed “Infestation”; it’s always so flattering to be complemented by such an amazing writer as yourself.

      Love ya,
      Jadey Bear

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