Fluke

This entry is part 11 of 12 in the series Bestiary

Schistosoma mansoni

What moon presides over the chance
meeting of egg with water,
miracidium with snail, forked-tail
cercarium with human skin?
The young vampires voyage
first through the lungs & then
to the heart, where like Cupid’s arrows
they pierce its left side & travel down
into the liver for their fateful pairing.
The female inhabits the male,
slides tongue-in-groove style
into his gynaecophoric canal
& latches on. Could anything be
more romantic than this life-
long nestle? Together
they navigate the narrow
tunnels thunderous with blood,
questing for the rich intestinal wall
where they will fasten & thrash
& begin to plant. And if their hosts
should have granulomatous reactions,
female or male, regardless of menses
their bellies may begin to swell,
gravid with a stranger’s eggs
conceived under a vagrant moon.

Series Navigation← SiphonophoreSacred Scarab →
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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave's writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the "share alike" provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

19 Comments


  1. He’s only gone and done it! The romantic fluke poem! And with wit, elegance and style. Well done and then some, Dave.

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  2. Man, this sucker is a brick house! Tubular!

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  3. It makes me think of an accordion make that features patented “tone chambers”.

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    1. Clearly, I need to know more about accordions. (Almost bought one once, but realized I’d be too lazy to learn how to play it.)

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  4. Nice! So are you going from odes to tools to odes to invertebrates?

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    1. No, this is still for the Bestiary project with Clive Hicks-Jenkins, though I don’t know if all the poems will push his buttons (to continue with Bill’s accordion analogy). It’s just that many of the most bizarre creatures are invertebrates, and critters in bestiaries do need to be strange and wondrous.

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      1. All of the Bestiary poems punch my buttons. Every one. Just so that you know. (I’m in such a frenzy of work and admin at the moment, that I’m not always up to speed with Via Negativa. Please don’t take silence for a lack of enthusiasm. It just means I’m running fast.)

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  5. At once, icky and awesome. I second Dick’s praise.

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  6. I wish I’d had this to carry with me when I lived in the land of schistosomiasis. Might have made things easier – or at least enlarged the context!

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    1. Oh lord. I’m surprised you can read this at all! It truly sounds like a grim condition.

      Reply

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