I sit down for dinner with my dead brother again This is the last dream I ever want to have Passing the forks around the table, passing the knives There's nothing to worry about One thing I want to know is who's in the kitchen right now if it isn't me It isn't me The kitchen is full of flies, flies are doing all the work They light on the edge of the roasted chicken The bone china That's what they do Light * I will look more and more like him until I'm older than he is Then he'll look more like me if I was lost The flies need to be killed as soon as we're done eating this delicious meal they made They serve us anything we want in toxic green tuxedos and shit wings My brother and I wipe our mouths scrape our chairs back from the table and stand up These are the last things we'll do together: Eat dinner Kill flies * You have to lie down next to the bodies, shining all in a row like black sequins stitching up the kitchen floor It's hard to do but you have to do it Quietly lay down and not sleep We were killing them with butcher knives but moved on to spatulas to save time and energy Sticking their eyes onto our earlobes and wrists like Egyptian jewelry My brother and I work hard all night He is my emergency exit I am his dinner date
Copyright © 2011 by Michael Dickman. Reprinted from Flies with the permission of Copper Canyon Press.
Poet Michael Dickman's second collection of poetry, Flies, received the 2010 James Laughlin Award
Date Published: 2011-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/killing-flies