JT Tsuchiya

the common worm is
degraded, derided,
laughed at, stepped on,
captured, pierced,
fed to northern
pike and gilt-head
tied to sticks
and set to roast on
hot coals,
routinely humiliated,
flung at sixth
graders, pulled
apart, placed
in the microwave of
the commonwealth
for entertainment
while us vertebrates
fall asleep on
the couch.

but she does her job,
the common worm.
she eats dirt,
and she does it well. she
refuses to be hectored by
those with storied
after rainy
days she surfaces,
embraces the damp
concrete, full of
passion and life,
writhing in earnest,
making love in the
sugar-sweet dusk,
thinking nothing of
steel-toed boots nor her
place in the order of


JT Tsuchiya is our nation’s most vital literary voice.