"Fruit Flies" by Erin Schallmoser


I read in a book that scientists have reason

to believe that fruit flies have dreams,

yes, even fruit flies.

This book was about trees,

and the factoid about fruit flies was

presented in service of a greater point,

but no matter what I learned

about spruces and birches and pines,

it is the fruit flies that I will be thinking

about many years in the future,

I am sure of it.

These creatures that I swat away from produce in the summer,

that I attempt to slam flat in the palms of my hands,

that I wave away from my face in irritation—these creatures’

brains play movies for them while they are unconscious.

These creatures wake up and wonder did that really happen?

or think god, I miss her so much.

It is almost too much to process, like the number

of times a hummingbird beats its wings every minute,

or the size of a blue whale’s heart.

What a time to be alive, to know these things

that have been secrets for so long.


Erin Schallmoser (she/her) lives in Bellingham, WA, works by day as a naturopathic clinic manager, and delights in moss, slugs, stones, wildflowers, small birds, and the moon, when she can see it. She’s a poetry/prose editor and staff contributor at The Aurora Journal and is on Twitter @dialogofadream. You can read more at erinschallmoser.com/.

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