The Flies of Hartley, Texas

by rebsnugs

No Wind. Just Heat and Lust, the buzz of the Black Fly. 

I lie as still as the stifling air, hold my breath and melt into stone. 

They crawl upon my legs and drink the days’ sweat

And find me so delicious, they land on me over and over. 


I fly with them over parched plains to the land of the stockyards

The birthplace of barbed wire where aquifers

Sit on the front porch and speak nostalgically of youth. 

Around puddles of warm red jelly we gather

And sip sweet nectar, wondering when the rains will ever come. 


A young Jack Russell trots our way, a ribbon collar trails behind. 

Word on the street, “You know what happens to dogs left out here…”

The Stetson cocks his shotgun and ambles out of sight. 


Flying wide around Amarillo, we dip our toes in Texas

And loiter in empty Lone Star Coffins, too broke for T-Bone doggy bags. 


I can not hear you over this swarming frenzy.

The evening breeze is calming but no distraction to the migrant herd

Who happily found a place to Rest, Feast, Fuck and Brood

Until this winter’s freeze drives them deep into the Earth

To dream the swirling dreams of salty summer feasts.


I leave the roll of newsprint on the table.

My voice remains soft as we reminisce and commune

Over common kitchen scraps and counter crumbles. 

Tomorrow we fly again and take with us 

A taste of yesterday’s wanderings.