Her pain is shown
against the head of a match
She vanishes in cold seasons: diapause.
Named in the middle ages,
when farmers prayed against pests.
Her red carapace followed the scourge.
Red of the virgin’s cloak,
equal spots for joy and sorrow.
Beetles account for the majority of the biomass on Earth —
which accounts for her and husks shed in molting seasons.
Her colour deters,
associates with a bad taste —
bitter crunch of apples.
Stranger among the aphids and hemiptera;
She is not a true bug with mouthparts that pierce.
Clade of beetle, that one ancestor.
She has a segmented heart,
and bleeds in self-defence, by reflex,