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Every Fly’s Ascendant, by Debra Di Blasi


In the end, silence reigned. It settled over dry fields and skeletons—trees black obelisks in risen waters. Finally, children carried their tunes hidden behind ribs like xylophones in attics, and dust rained until there were no children and every xylophone broke underheel. Blinded by grit, old women stumbled toward a past grown unyielding inside memories across valleys shadowed in shrugs and whatevers. They fell in.

I was there, on each scab of sorrow, my ovipositor stabbing cankled flesh. Maggots dripped glistening with mucous and pus, tongues splitting without spit, cunts and assholes cracked and bleeding. My Dipteran Heaven prevailed, as written: mitochondria evolved incorruptible, a comet’s panspermic gift.

Your God and gods and goddesses didn’t stand a chance. You wrought them of monkey metal; their cadmium and manganese poisoned your veins while you insisted your novels of hierarchies of goodness of godness protected you from irrelevance. There was no gentle hand on your hirsute crown.

Really, did you not believe you would die. Swimming alongside immortal Siphonophora, could you not then view your life as brief as a mayfly’s. Your twenty-four-hour news cycle the snap of a twig in an Eden seared and plowed under history.

You’re ridiculous.

Somewhere on the bottom of these dead oceans, life begins anew. Yes. I have learned to swim.


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