FF (b. l938 / Troy, NY)

The Good Parasite

Once,
a child,
a child of mine, if you must know,
brought me a flower,
clutched in his little hand so tight
I had to pry it free.

I have heard that in the Malay mountains
there is a flower,
largest in this world,
truncated,
parasitical,
apetalous.
It draws carrion-eating flies because
it smells of rotting flesh.

You,
who cannot tell your grief,
join me.
I can consume
nations of sufferers
entire.
I am the good parasite —
huge,
limbless,
noisome,
beautiful.

Let me live.

by Frank Fagan

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