FLY ON THE WINDOW
Fly on the window, trying to get out
for hours, incessant erratic movement,
as if it were looking for a parking spot.
Strokes its legs as if it were sharpening carving knives.
Firesticks. Witching wands. Who knows?
Nothing ignites. Cul de sac. Dead end.
Aerial view of Captain Cook exploring Bella Coola,
a kamikaze at Midway looking down
into a totally translucent sea
that proves there’s an outside on the bottom
all the way to the bank across the street.
Will undaunted, the ferocity of life,
and its commitment to it,
its savage insistence on
walking itself to death on a windowpane
as immaculate as the grimy glass
even in something the size
of a mythically inflated punctuation mark.
Musca. Fly. Liar. Spawn of Beelzebub.
Are you lying to me now? What about?
What do flies lie to people about?
Bet you don’t know I’m even here.
Objectivity. The delusion
of not clinging to anything that isn’t there
as if the mind doesn’t enable a random selection
of what is. You lie to me, fly,
and, I swear, I’m going to interpret you,
existentially. No exit. No entrance.
Right now, you look like a shoe
that’s learned to walk independently.
A black slipper, a sticky computer cursor
when the batteries are dying.
Shakespeare said by indirections
we find directions out. Is that
what you’re trying to do? Personally
I think you just confuse the whole issue.
In some labyrinths you’re the only bread crumb
you’ve got to follow. And o yes now
the little squalls of frustration,
the short, angry, flights as if you want
to head-butt the glass. Break through
to the other side. The abyss of your longing.
You can see it so clearly, not even
through a glass darkly, the stars and the moon.
Is this the mirage of a heatwave in an hourglass,
or the old Satan, the shaitan, who used to be
the angel who just might still be
the angel in your way? Prophetic reason,
trying to keep you from hurting yourself,
or the pique of an idle distemper amused
by its torment of you? Until you drop
of exhaustion like a fridge magnet
that didn’t get to spell out anything.
Flat on the delta wings of your back,
legs up in the air like tiny black wicks
in a candelabra at a black mass,
or charred stakes in a forest fire of heretics.
The whole world on fire. A cosmic auto de fe.
Poetic hyperbole. But, fly. I don’t mock you.
Of all the things I could be looking at,
the trophy lines of the spidery window jewellery,
Arcturus, the one bright note like a firefly
among the staves of the powerlines,
or something lyrically fascinating
like a woman at the back of my mind,
I’m looking at you as if we both shared
the same lifeboat, you, the rudder, me,
the sail, and the name on the bow in Braille.