Reflections on the Life Cycle of a Common Fungus

You’ve seen it on a windowpane, up high,
near the top, a fly, dead and desiccate,
around its abdomen a foggy spray
upon the glass. Entomophthora muscae   

begins life as a single spore. It lights
upon a housefly’s back, erupts
in thready filaments, searching for gaps
in the exoskeleton. Once inside,

it travels to the brain, impels the fly
to land and clamber upward, then digests
the insect’s innards. In the end, it bursts
free—a spray of spores seeking new lives.

I wonder what your thoughts must be to find
this knowledge taking root within your mind.
 
 
(Originally appeared in Woud You Dance?)

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