Asian Lady Beetle


An erasure of “What’s the Difference Between Ladybugs and Asian Lady Beetles?”


Although Lady      and Asian                  

look similar 


Lady                don’t bite, they 

never congregate



a true pest

                                    gather in large groups 

excrete a foul-smelling yellow


Yellow                                                can stain walls 

     trigger                                               Asian                  access points.


Asian                           naturally attracted to                           whites 


Therefore,                                              enter homes

    through cracks.                                      Once inside, 


You might find them hiding

dispose of the              Asian with soapy water.                                


You shouldn’t have to put up with       Asian


clear     out an             Asian      infestation


            every time.


II. Self-Portrait as Asian Lady Beetle


Red orange

is my mother’s

favorite color

so my shell

shines poppy

more flame voracious

than lipstick pretty


A scientist named me

the aggressive version

of the ladybug


I argue

I am just practiced

in self defense

sink teeth

into human flesh

bleed the scent

of dry leaves

when provoked


I stain yellow,

a bitter taste,

wherever I go


Leave the eyes

of men

spilling flame


Find me feasting

on aphids & cousins

upon grape curtains

in cities of plump beans


I descended

from beetles

who survived

chemical plumes

7,000 miles of sky


of course,

to thrive,

I fight.



Jade Cho is a writer and educator from Oakland, CA. She is the author of In the Tongue of Ghosts (First Word Press, 2016) and a co-founder of Ghostlines Collective and The Root Slam. Her poems have appeared in BOAAT, Hot Metal Bridge, The Offing, and elsewhere. She holds a BA in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley and is an MFA candidate in poetry at Arizona State University.