gnat poem

New poem, no title, first draft, your feedback requested:

The weekend of the gnat infestation — I still think they were gnats and not fruit flies — we spent hours in solid concentration with the gadget, the electrified tennis-racket contraption, the thing that killed sometimes silently, sometimes with a sparkler-sized spark.

Tiny bodies piled up. Brown or grey bodies too small in motion to see piled up. Suddenly we were a team again, banded together despite last weekend’s argument: Red Team All Systems Go.

Was it the gnats, the series of bugs with brains and wings smaller than dust that somehow outfoxed us? We fight something we can barely see, and leave the rest for whatever comes whenever. I hope these are with you.

I’ll answer your question now, as I did when you asked, and over and over. You are good to me. We are best when we are good to each other, of course; the question wouldn’t need to be asked if we were always good to each other.

You need to know and I say: we will always be fighting something we can barely see. So I’ll try to be on your side, pointing at the speck against the painted wall as you lunge and swoop, as the crackle sounds, as one last thing we can defeat has ended.

— Halsted M. Bernard

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I acknowledge that I live and work on stolen Cowlitz, Clackamas, Atfalati, and Kalapuya land.
I give respect and reverence to those who came before me.