I’m watching you, a blur of wings
And legs, floating around me —
I’m trying to brush you away,
Or grab and squash you.
Suddenly I see you’re on my hand,
Walking up my middle finger,
Testing with your feet, waving
Your proboscis thoughtfully.
I let you go on to find your spot —
A small sharp pain, and then
You’re sucking, white-banded rear legs
Held over your back.
Your transparent, black-striped body
Pulses, it seems to take forever
Until a dark finger of blood creeps
Along inside you.
You bloat, abdomen red now,
But once detached, you whiffle about,
Take two steps, as if to start
No! You don’t need any more,
I don’t think you can fly! I puff
You away and you disappear across
John Leonard was born in the UK and came to Australia in 1991. He has a PhD from the University of Queensland and was poetry editor of Overland from 2003 to 2007. He has five collections of poetry; the latest, A Spell, A Charm, was published by Hybrid Publishing in 2014. www.jleonard.net