The Fly in One of Petrarch's Sonnets


"What does a fly do, imprisoned
in one of Petrarch's sonnets?"
—Pablo Neruda


Surely it suffers the winter
of someone else's discontent.
In time, the ignominious
pun of ribald Thomas
reaching too hard for effect.
The stoic hand of Dali
as he sat naked in sea light,
brushing off the sun, sting,
to paint a fish about
to fly with wine and ware.
The closed robust sentience
of Emily in white.
The calculated risk
of Golding. For Twain, a summer.
And though bitten by it—
the good Doctor maintains—
a horse is still a horse.