when I became pregnant
I spent the first few weeks trying to kill it
stopped eating, slept
stomach down against the cold dirt
beat myself until it hurt. Then
other thoughts began to set in
of what this child could be if it lived
how the nightmare of his or her conception
could unfold into a wonderful dream. Now
I slept with my stomach to the ground
to protect the child within
my body a shield against
the wolves prowling outside my door.
when he raped me a second time I knew
he had killed our baby, the way
one knows that the sun has risen
even while still deep in sleep. By morning
I knew I was completely alone.

        Yellow Spider, Little Green Fly

the ancient ancestor of this angling arthropod
could have crawled across the concrete
of a palace, or a prison
could have crept close to a condemned criminal’s crippled claw, curious of
the fumbling of fetid fingernails fighting feebly against
expected death.
the forefathers of this fly
maybe befuddled brilliant boys like Bacon
appearing as if assembled by angry alchemists
as maggots molting, multiplying, mounting air
fleeing free from fermenting flesh.
the ancient intimates of these insects
may have met millennia ago
suffered the same sort of scrutiny
I have them under now.


voices whisper the warning around
the room like a hot potato—
“She’s a bleeder”—rubber band sound
as gloves snap on the hands of those
people who will never touch you
fear of you and your blood, if you
could move these arms, wrapped in tape, glued
in place, suspended from hooks, you
could shake free the needle in your
neck--powerless, you control the
entire room

© Holly Day