Shooing Flies

David Havird

I found the car key.
Maybe I ought to have sped to the port.
Thanks to a taxi, you were there
even ahead of time awaiting the ferry.

Instead, I braved the switchbacks,
narrow, gear-strippingly steep,
up that treeless rock
whose peak is St. Simeon’s perch.

I pictured you, umbrellaed, gazing the harbor.
Lean out from under the shade and shoot your gaze
up to the blue-domed church.
Is somebody up there waving?

I meant to distance myself
as far as I could from the port of return,
spirit from body. Away, though,
hadn’t we relished our bodies!

Out in the bay where a fisherman
netted an icon depicting the Virgin,
beside her whitewashed church
on the severed tip of a finger of stone

I’d fished for you with my eyes,
then handled ashore love’s shivering body,
which ached for another, the friction,
to redden its blue-lipped flame.

Who would have dreamed there’d be above it all
a nimbus of flies! Somebody, yes,
was waving and, bitten as if by sparks,
shooing flies.


About the Author

David Havird is the author of two collections: Map Home (2013) and Penelope’s Design: Fourteen Poems (2010). His poems have appeared in such periodicals as Agni, The New Yorker, Poetry, Sewanee Review, and Yale Review, and in anthologies: The Southern Poetry Anthology, IV: Louisiana and Hard Lines: Rough South Poetry (forthcoming). He teaches at Centenary College of Louisiana. Since 2009 he has taught a course in Greece in May.