Chad Davidson


Grapes left to flies for want

of us who sprawl in bed late

are still grapes left to flies. Indifferent,

we must be some riot of guilt, intemperate


loungers, scuffs in the unfinished

threshold of last night. Putrescence

on the lowermost grape is merely wished-

for grace clothed in ambivalence.


And that you could be holding a glass or held

by one is the same as saying the gelding

lying bloated in the sun, the birch felled

for nothing more than boredom, is seldom


noticed by the mirrors of our house.

The computer hums your name. The flies,

some other lust or nonsense of wing. Housed

in their frenzy, beating themselves senseless


against an hour, they know nothing of you,

nor that their day’s so short the bruise

of a grape only keeps in motion two

wings two minutes longer. If they lose


their love of dying we might also begin

our day as fugitives, like when you swam

off coast with me. The blue-black ocean

held you, and I was dispossessed. Not because I am


a lover of the threat that closeness poses.

I am. Because out of the flies

clouding the plump bulbs of kelp, rose

a gull’s riddled body. Something dies


every minute we fail to praise it and I care

nothing, or very little. What more

can you take from me? I swear

the ocean once was a broken mirror.




“Flies” first appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, 56.3, 2006.