Fly Trap

What if I don't love it right? This Venus

fly trap, in its shallow water, in its plastic pot

on the shelf a few feet from the register; eight heads

hung back, asking charity from above

‘til the joy of digestion quiets one,

though only for a moment.


What if the sunlight seeps through my window

too directly and there the plant withers

or roasts and then rots? Or in winter

when bugs swarm back

into the endless, unseen holes of the Earth,

will I have the diligence to hunt

and feed this hungry green? Will I maintain

the warmth of Carolinas?


Dan says there are trigger hairs

only visible if you lean real close, close enough to taste

the boggy perfume of its plumes.

He says if you trip one, a mouth closes

much slower than you'd expect,

not a snap,

more an exhale, expelling a single vowel. O                                                 


I know I'll touch just one to see, but what if I touch more?                    

Its many mouths chattering in my mind until, curious,

I lay the curve of a finger into each and starve the hydra

gleefully, like popping bubble wrap or pushing the big red buttons

which launch the bombs that end the world. Only it doesn't work

like that. It doesn't starve, Dan says, the flies are a bonus,

a zest. The plant lives like any other, on water

and sun, and the animals it takes only for pleasure. Was it pleasure?


He might have said purpose. He might have said

Why don't you just buy the thing? When it dies, it will be dead.