No cheery buzz to announce her—

smaller, swifter than her equine cousin,

more determined than the mosquito

to force us all indoors for the last few weeks

before the unbearable summer swelter begins.

Praise to the yellow fly,

like us—lover of shade and water,

forest and bay, equal opportunity 

spreader of misery, her bloodlust 

a maternal instinct, her season 

shorter but just as notorious

as the tourists’, the enemy

we’ve all been waiting for. 

Praise to the yellow fly,

dogged pursuer of dark, slow-moving objects,

unrelenting head-bomber, wily

elbow-biter, stealthy ankle-sweller,

whose creation I cannot explain or justify

(though see how I try!),

who keeps me vigilant, prevents me sliding 

into a naive and privileged optimism 

about the present moment or the future,

who erases any accumulated certainty 

about the purposes of God.

Praise to the yellow fly—

in Belize, the “doctor fly”—

who annually cures me 

of the illusion of my own goodness.

How quickly I spray the beach ball black,

hang it from the scrub oak by the driveway, 

painstakingly cover it with sticky goo.

How often I check it to count the yellow corpses. 

How shamelessly I delight in the thought of their extinction,

smirk at the body-pocked planet swaying in the breeze.