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Pathos

I watched a fly die today on the windowsill

his wings flapping, fluttering in short

spastic bursts of intense desperate beating

before silence descended upon the world again.

The hush encapsulated us, separated us, me and the fly--

just a pause to rest and gain strength for another attempt

 

I watched a fly die today in the window track

his body jerking in a gruesome way,

uncontrolled hops, at first level,

then upside down, then however he fell.

I watched the event, without uttering

the overwhelmed sympathy I was feeling.

 

I watched a fly die today in an artificial canyon

his short bursts of desperate flight

uttering many words that I could not articulate--

the vicious wish to live for one more night

beyond his allotted four and twenty hours.

I wished for things which lay beyond my powers.

 

I watched a fly die tonight among dirt and other bodies,

alone but for a human girl sitting silent in an armchair.

And in its death, witnessed some same pathos

finding the hungry desperate greedy strips flayed

without regard, without awareness from sole existence

in a fly’s burst of futile flight, lost and without compare.