Lives Of Flies

By Peter Halstead

Bearer of encephalitis, dengue,
and malaria, winged maggot
of the dust, predator of woodlice
and secretions, parasite of crust,
of gangrene, cankers, and necrosis,
but also of gametophytes
and roses, sucker of the deadwood
in the crawling traps but also
of the sap, putrid glutton of the blood,
dinosaur of collapse, but also
savior of white petals,
ageless nurse who
from the ooze, from a flood
of fungus and the indecent flow
of death, salvages a world of flowers,
who from the scent
of blisters spews a pure
and neutral spore—
no wonder this immortal leech
fixes on the rain
outdoors, a luminescent view
beyond its reach,
but never its eternal pain.

October 18th, 2018