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February 19, 2024

The Miniature Scholar

By John Sara

The Miniature Scholar

The fly on the wall could have been
a former student,
a resident of this hall just like you,
sleeping on the same mattress,
under the same white ceiling,
where the lights buzz overhead
at the same frequency as the tiny
pestering insect now peering over
your shoulder for the notes
he missed in class.

You couldn’t have asked
for a worse roommate.

Nervously, the fly paces
the room in preparation
for its next exam. When it lands,
you can feel it, spindly limbs
that once gripped pencils and
pens, brush against your skin
like sandpaper, too much like
hands for your own comfort.

You wonder how the fly must see you,
in those bulbous red eyes,
like image upon image of same photograph,
all spliced together in a collage of
broken mirror shards,
put back together.

When it whispers in your ear,
you shout at it to go to hell,
lugging a heavy tome from your shelf
like an angry God sending a flood
upon humanity. How fitting that a plague
should be a swarm of buzzing insects.

When the fly finally dies,
it struggles in your grasp.
it fights, it fights hard, so much
so that you can feel the heat of
its body, writhing around until all
that remains is a pathetic
pile of wings. Your once
strong hands feel weak
around its frame.

In its final moments, you can’t help but wonder,
if the fly was remembering
what it was like to be human,
and to loathe something
that small.

Article © John Sara. All rights reserved.
Published on 2023-11-13
Image(s) are public domain.
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