Kitchen Fruit Fly Suicides, Ed Higgins

Kitchen Fruit Fly Suicides


How the hell do these 1/8 inch long red-eyed flying insects wind up in my kitchen anyway? And why are they forever committing suicide in the glass of wine I’m sipping while preparing dinner? Sometimes I delicately teaspoon out three or four downed or drowned floaters, losing the barest bit of my supper-prep indulgence, before taking another sip of a favorite pinot or merlot. But only if I remember to look for their floating corpse specks in what is to them an irresistible inviting lake of volatile fruit scent. So the little-winged bastards come swarming from the kiwi fruit over-ripening on the window shelf above the kitchen counter or from hovering as nano-drones above the banana, clementines, and apple fruit basket sitting on the Hoosier cabinet’s slide-out shelf. Sometimes I just say to-hell-with-you at drunken or dead drosophila floating in my wine. By now they’re just wine-flavored protein after all. So it’s bottoms-up on these suicide-prone fermented fruit connoisseurs. Down the hatch, I say–especially if I happen to be on my second or third glass.

Ed Higgins


Review by Claire Scott

Such a creative and fun poem. I love the description of the fruit flies and the idea that they are all suicidal. I think readers can so easily relate to the dilemma of a fruit fly in a wine glass. What to do next? Some of the lines are particularly hilarious: “the little-winged bastards,” “hovering as nano-drones” and “wine-flavored protein.” I like how the speaker moves from being thoughtful about scooping them out to “bottoms-up.” The last line is hilarious. After a few glasses, it is simply “bottoms up!” The prose poem format works really well.

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