Earth Day for Unpleasant Creatures


“All of God’s creatures are not beautiful. Most of God’s creatures are, in fact, barely presentable.”

— Fran Lebowitz

I wish there were an Earth Day for hissing cockroaches without friends & stink bugs eager to rest in a nice house on a cold day & rats in the subway of New York City in those viral videos, scrambling to find stale scraps of Matzah during Pesach so they can enjoy a nice snack and the comfort of a full stomach & the endangered pink blob fish with its big nose and unfortunate face perpetually on the verge of tears & the quirky axolotl always bouncing up and down who will never grow up or drive or know how to pay taxes with complete confidence & palmetto bugs oblivious as to why everyone they meet shrieks at the top of their lungs with pure hatred & the spider my mother wouldn’t let the exterminators kill because it made a web that looked so much like art on her windowsill & worms struggling on the sidewalk & moths buzzing around a dull light bulb & yet again I am on the periphery like one of those unpleasant creatures you prefer to forget about & this feeling cannot be stomped out or sprayed away & it crawls between the walls, on the floor, behind your furniture. Sometimes loneliness is not beautiful or with a purpose. Sometimes it lurks in the streets near the non recyclable garbage cans in the middle of summer, when the sidewalks reek of rotten things stacked up and forgotten, hoping that someone out there is on their side, rooting for their futures, too.


Lara Boyle is an incoming creative nonfiction candidate at UNCW's MFA program. She is the recent winner of the Paul Baker Newman Poetry Award. Her work can be found in The Huffington Post, Newsweek, The Jerusalem Post, and more. The granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor, her writing often explores the intersection of queerness, disability, and Jewish identity.