The Flea

For him the truth is a flavor,
a pulse made of nutriment,
a living mountain of breath.
Even pinched between
the fingers and released, he springs
to perfect absence, beyond punishment,
a celebrant of undetectable freedom.
Cinder-speck, a vibrant
 
fiend of punctuation,
no bigger than a typesetter’s
semicolon, there he is again.
And again. He leaves tiny misery,
his wound angry but subtle,
 
a meal cadged by a parasite whose disguise
is the squirrel’s scurry,
or the mastiff’s drowse.
Hiding when he cannot leap, he is a fugitive
 
who stays where he is, misery to the tomcat,
vexation to the hound,
purveyor of infection in hosts
too mute upon the summer field
to know the name of what
steals their peace.
Now he says, meaning then.
Here he says, meaning there. Too late.
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

The latest from america

“There’s so many people looking,” said a girl in a backwards baseball cap, “but there’s no one to see.”
Brandon SanchezAugust 21, 2018
Using an abuse and accountability scandal to scapegoat Catholic queerness is not O.K.
Nathan SchneiderAugust 21, 2018
If things are this bad within the church, how bad is it in our homes and neighborhoods?
Matt Malone, S.J.August 21, 2018
You don’t get to claim Christ’s body without assuming the punishment it suffered.
Jordan Daniel WoodAugust 21, 2018