Originally published in Permafrost #35.1

I’m keeping the window open
while I watch

a fly I swatted
clean itself and rummage over

the fresh carcasses
of five other flies I killed

under a lamp.
I watch its senses drift off

in a bright envelope the way you
and I watch television,

its blue light offering comfort
from fear of the lonely future,

when you get up to turn off
the faucet and wonder

if the living room clock
is ticking louder than usual,

when your eyelids twitch
in the swarm of gnats

above the dishwater
and the sticky wine glasses,

if there’s any way to
fix the steady vexation,

any honest way
to hold back.