they mess with your head
she said
these tiny little fruit flies
i couldn’t argue
we were well into the second bottle
of good red
& the bastards wouldn’t let us be
circling our glasses
perching on the rim
bombing us in the face
if we breathed in too hard
we’d ingest them
so we blew them away
but they just kept coming back
ok they didn’t bite us
like the mosquitos & horse flies
but they were a hundred times
more irritating
messing with our alcohol
confusing our vision
little skittering dots
dancing around our brains
we tried to hand-catch them in the air
or wrap them in tissue
over the glass edge or tabletop
none of it worked
they were too cute & fast
there’s only one solution
she said
let them kill themselves
with alcohol
like many of us do
we can’t be responsible
for killing other living creatures
& i had to agree
so we cracked a third bottle
found a third glass
poured out three big ones
& enjoyed some quality shiraz
whilst sure enough
those damned fruit flies
sucked on their own dedicated drink
dive bombing or sliding in
ready to drown in ecstasy
so she was right
maybe humans & insects
are not that different
from each other
after all

Pete Donohue

ireland born and london raised pete donohue works in community mental health in amazing hastings on the dirty south coast of a proudly multi-cultural england and preserves his dubious sanity through creative writing, drawing, editing, reviewing and performing poetry and music. he is literature editor of the free volunteer-run community newspaper

his poems and short stories have been published by numerous underground and alternative small presses in the uk and usa. previous chapbooks are poems for tommy two-guns analog submission press 2018 (two editions – sold out), scream before they kill your poetry holy&intoxicated press 2018 (sold out) and poetry is feathers analog submission press 2019.

swallowing paregoric babies, his first full collection of poetry, is out on UnCollected Press (August 2020). he is currently working on a book of his short stories.

twitter: @petedonohuepoet

instagram: petedonohuepoet

facebook: pete donohue

Cover Image:Milan Sonigra