Oct/Nov 2019 Poetry

Drosophilia (to Drosophila melanogaster)

by Thomas J. Hubschman

Image courtesy of The British Library photostream

Drosophilia (to Drosophila melanogaster)

Researchers in California have discovered that even [fruit flies] might dream.

What does Drosophila dream about?
A splotch of ice cream on a summer sidewalk?
A lover?—the husky swain that buzzed her
When she was still a child, two days ago?
What does Drosophila dream about?

The spider in the web beneath my bath tub
Dreams of Drosophila,
Of her tender thighs and tasty metathorax.
He's saving up—gnats and little crawly things—
For a buxom wench ripe with spider eggs.
Drosophila is his bride geld.

Why do you dream, Drosophila? You live just thirty days.
Why spend so much of them in reverie?

Were I a fly I'd dream of you, my black-bellied dew-lover.
I'd court you with the finest bonbons and vintage manure.
We'd couple every hour in Dipteran bliss
Till entomologists cried out in envy.
I'd rout the spider, run Mr. Centipede out of town.

Our lives are brief, Drosophila, our days as fleeting shadows.
Today already is half spent, its night looms long and cheerless.
Be mine, Drosophila. Cast your canny eye my way
And dream with me of summer dawns, and love,
Till darkness close upon us
And we have no more nights to wake from.


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