Confessions of a fly killer
In a lab, the absence
of a paintbrush’s gentle strokes leaves
fly plates painted with red splotches where
chosen forceps crushed the body
of a female darkened, marking an unwanted encounter with a male
so, she is scraped off the white slab
and gently pushed into
a fly morgue
which douses each fly in ethanol
where it meets the carcasses of thousands of other floating flies
fixed in the state they were in when they became of disuse for me.
I have peered into my scope for months now and sorted a hundred flies into irrelevance
saving only the virgin females and discarding the males for fear of their sperm contaminating the pool
with offspring of undesirable genotypes.
I have rued my power as the creature larger than you
who mates your parents to determine your birth,
nourishes your embryonic young with buttery yellow cornmeal and yeast,
and sorts you into viles to give you space to climb, fly, and flit
only to snatch your glutinous white larvae even before they pupate into a shell
To prod them as they squirm in a fluid filled well
To chase the ripples and grip the wormy head in one forceps while tearing the intestines with the other
until the nerves stop firing
and I am left with a lifeless cellophane body
and the ability to invert the carcass
To isolate the brain for study.
I have reflected upon my experimental designs created
with the knowledge of your imminent death at my hands
with a goal that rejects the guilt in favor of achieving what it wants:
the knowledge, the knowledge of your proteins.
Dew loving fly,
Listen out for the screams
Of your fellow flies
Lost into ethanol
in the fly morgue.