Charles Bukowski

Two Flies

The flies are angry bits of life; why are they so angry? it seems they want more, it seems almost as if they are angry that they are flies; it is not my fault; I sit in the room with them and they taunt me with their agony; it is as if they were loose chunks of soul left out of somewhere; I try to read a paper but they will not let me be; one seems to go in half-circles high along the wall, throwing a miserable sound upon my head; the other one, the smaller one stays near and teases my hand, saying nothing, rising, dropping crawling near; what god puts these lost things upon me? other men suffer dictates of empire, tragic love… I suffer insects… I wave at the little one which only seems to revive his impulse to challenge: he circles swifter, nearer, even making a fly-sound, and one above catching a sense of the new whirling, he too, in excitement, speeds his flight, drops down suddenly in a cuff of noise and they join in circling my hand, strumming the base of the lampshade until some man-thing in me will take no more unholiness and I strike with the rolled-up-paper - missing! - striking, striking, they break in discord, some message lost between them, and I get the big one first, and he kicks on his back flicking his legs like an angry whore, and I come down again with my paper club and he is a smear of fly-ugliness; the little one circles high now, quiet and swift, almost invisible; he does not come near my hand again; he is tamed and inaccessible; I leave him be, he leaves me be; the paper, of course, is ruined; something has happened, something has soiled my day, sometimes it does not take man or a woman, only something alive; I sit and watch the small one; we are woven together in the air and the living; it is late for both of us.

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