a fly moves slowly sideways up the wall
Tonight they crave fly meat. Ants circle the fly morgue
on the sill. Teams of two drag the dead husks up the wall—
after hearing about the clots in my father’s lungs, I
notice ants in my house, ants on the counter, dragging a fly up.
I close my eyes and my house lies on an anthill. While I sleep,
they carry me to their catacombs. Tonight I can’t sleep so I watch bugs,
forget about the blood in dad’s lungs, but remember
his whitened fists and the pearls of sweat on pallid skin.
I spot two moths mating. Buddhists say do not
kill an animal, do not kill a bug. I do not.
I sink into a tub. I walk past blackened bananas
as a net of fruit flies rises and falls.
In the morning, the phone rings, I answer and hear dad’s voice.
As I open the door, a stripe of sun warms my face
and lights the porch revealing a cricket.
(Published as “Bugged” in Wisconsin Review)