“Sonnet 146” (R.A. Villanueva)

“Sonnet 146”

The maggot dreams of the ear and
the wound, that welcome dark between

gauze and knee, cheek and skull, and
any open moment in the

body that will have it. The child-
fly wants a mouth to grow into,

a burn to salve, a heart to feed
on. It calls for sugar and Job

and marrow. The maggot loves St.
Lazarus, though he walked away,

loves the warm cutbanks of the chest.
When the maggot asks for wings, we

will answer with painted hands, eyes
beneath coins, a promise of graves.

—R.A. Villanueva
—from Poetry (September 2016)

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