David D. Paul


I broke my nose against a concrete wall
made entirely of thoughtless, weightless,
fruit flies. At first, I tried to reason
with them; I proclaimed,“This is my home,
not yours. There is a world of garbage for you.”
I opened the window as invitation,
transformed the fan into a simulation:
my kitchen as a hurricane.
I clogged the air with sandalwood,
dragon’s blood, pumpkin spice,
bleach—then set the bathroom ablaze
with peppermint oil and watched the smoke decay.
I cinched my garbage bags, trapping at least
a hundred, then tossed them in the dumpster,
where their strangeness
would be compressed.
In the mirror, my tired face was obscured
by pointless, toothless,
fruit flies.

David D. Paul was born in Pittsburgh, but currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two daughters, and their pet gold fish, Michelangelo (Mikey for short). 

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