Flies in the Milk

Recess time—
hot, bright—
little fingers grasping
at colored plastic cups.

The cold feel on our palms,
growing lukewarm by the minute,
the now sickly sweet scent
that brings on the insects.

Our cries to the teacher,
“There’s a fly in my milk.”
“Pour it out,” she says,
staring forward, a flat line.

We were the flies,
hatched into
a litter of dozens,
new and unseeing to the world.

Setting our target,
only to drop like
kamikaze fighters
into the mire.

Thrashing to stay afloat,
forming and failing friends,
building strong bones,
to break down the rest
trying not to be broken ourselves.

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