THE FLIES

                                 for Lynn



We were bad kids, but the flies liked us

better than dog shit, better than death,

and flew in out of the rain to find us

lying low on the back porch floor

after our latest outrage 

against our mother's happiness.


Tiny alien robots

came crawling over us, measuring, tasting

my face, your neck, my inner arm.

Traces of life on the lunar skin

excited them.  I studied one

that washed its hands and scraped its eyes

and slept, humped like a buffalo.


Their belly spikes were caked with plagues, 

she'd told us.  But we didn’t care.

For each invisible sinful germ

they tracked across us, they blotted two

back up with their sweet tongues.

They tickled us.  We sheltered them.




                          William and Mary Review #49 (2011)