I brought death to a fly; then, as Ignatow,
felt the gnawing need to write on it.
Swinging, with ballpark precision,
not expecting to crush a quick-wing,
I only wanted it away.
As it lay,
not yet dead,
I struck it twice further to
purge Life from a
sentient bundle of buzzing nerves.
Laying down small cardboard weaponry,
I peeled a prayer from disconcerted lips
as a ripple of Life-force
to the River.
Recollections came: the day I saved a life -
a housefly, dying from exhaustion, hunger
- both – gifted custody of emotion
as it went through
Insect death, without breath, or brain, yet
no stranger to life, even if instinctual.
A drop of milk, where it could reach,
was all required to revive a thrive-and-die
metabolism of cold blood that
simply s l o w s
till upturned tendrils
are stifled, and nerve-endings are still.
Calvin’s God, I gave, I took.
Unsheathed, unholy, spitting vigorous saliva
into fecund creases of the mother, I swore.