Lines On a Rescue Fly Trap

by Frank Osen

I hang it from a branch of flowering plum,
Add water and voilà, here’s instant hell.
The little plastic bag begins to hum
With customers who soon show up in swarms,
Until what’s even ranker than the smell
And stays that way, is the transparency.
For grotesque metaphor, it outperforms
Old sermons on the price of errancy.

In fact, it’s like a panel out of Bosch:
Lured by desire for filth, drawn down a chute,
New flies arrive to join the seething mosh
In frantic flight above a lake of dead.
Some stay outside (perhaps the more astute)
And mark the lost, though they don’t seem to grieve
So much as mock, by strolling overhead,
Where they evacuate, then leave.

But I’m accustomed to the globe we’ve made,
It almost soothes; no precatory shout
Disturbs the buzz of the fly-quiet glade.
Sometimes I stand and watch the shadows move,
As what we shouldn’t want to think about
Goes on and on, in plain view, all day long
And marvel how, at just the right remove,
The thrumming sounds like industry or song.

 

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