(A response poem to the collaborative piece ‘Shoo, Fly‘ by the amazing Kindra M. Austin and Samantha Lucero, on Sudden Denouement. Be sure to read this stunning piece.)
I recall the apparition.
they squirmed a nauseating mess,
a poltergeist steak on the garage floor.
I puzzle on the number
of maggots that have crawled upon me.
I knew they were flies – in bars and in dorms rooms.
I swatted at the buzz of their egos
in Greek chorus. I was that girl
with the grades and the holey swatter.
I was that girl, brilliant and slightly awkward,
attracting flies as brilliantine
greases fashionista disasters.
I was that girl with fierce four-eyed intent
and dismal coordination, that girl
who looked in the mirror
with inverted beer goggles.
when flies buzzed habitual lies
of beauty and breaktakability
I was entangled in gossamer webs
spun of red perfumed roses,
trips to Paris and hot air
balloon rides. my flyswatter
matted in the webbing.
flies or not, I learned.
I learned control was a pulled down
zipper and me wriggling my way
down the bed and control
was how I wrought their finish
while I still wore my clothes
if not my dignity. I 80’s teased
my hair, not their cocks.
I have no doubt those flies
nestled in Aqua Net nests
leaving me their seed.
I am left maggoty
lo these many years
in the stale beer and hazy afters.
I can feel them crawling on me-
the maggots of those lost girl nights.
some nights I am swarmed
by the maggots that silent whisper
buzzing lies anew, across
generations of girls
Tie your hair up girls
and earn some respect.
I scoop the maggots from my ears
ferret them out
from dark warm mind corners.
I see now the rest of that vision
the hose pulverizing
the quivering worm morass.
it is a fire hose, now,
instrument of salvation, not a grandiose
phallic substitute –
as if, boys! –
and I loose it on the maggot