The Fly

Original Text: 
Pearl: poems (Concord, Ontario: House of Anansi, 1996): 33-34.
Where we almost, nay more than married are.
.- John Donne
2       The cellophane shell,
3brittle pupa blanket where the almost fly
4lies like a spring. Coiled and tensile, its exertions will tear the sheet.
5      Six black legs flutter
6against the dry christening gown, I see his lambent eyes
7cloistered in these living walls of jet.
8Small glider, his veined wings are sheer parasols, gauzy skirts that
9      admit the light. The orange
10down of his pelvis beneath this architecture, blood is the adhesive
11fastening flight, my sleek aviator presses his sucker feet to my lips.
12     How little
13he denies me, the drone in my ear and he swarms my heart if one
14two light steps from the tips of my fingers he bows his head and
15     makes a violin,
16or hovers behind me when I circle the floor, lonely, he rests on
17     shoulder, elbow, to
18stare at me with swollen eyes,
19darkling, drop of ink. A currant in the sugar dish, he models in the
20      painted flowers, black eye
21of Susan, blunt thorn -- he delights in my decadence,
22the slippery floor, tiles, and stairs haunted with illness: my sensual life
23      and his intersect.
24He comes on the wing of another spring, in slicks of grey water, the
25     pendant sun.
26to navigate what is unknown to me, patiently, he regards the chrysalis of
27     skin that envelops
28the arched veins. Incurious and constant, he is used to waiting for the
29     modest blush, the rustle of disrobing
30the hush. Of silks unfolding, of gossamer veils drawn as tenderly as
31     breath, from the fluent sea
32of one blood made of two, the sweetness of his pestilent kiss.


1] ."The Flea." by John Donne, about the mixing of bloods in a flea that bites two lovers on a bed. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
Special Copyright: 

<b>This poem cannot be published anywhere without the written consent of Lynn Crosbie or the House of Anansi permissions department.</b>