2022 Issue > Poetry > Botfly Man
Artwork by Maddie Hansen
A man cried to the heavens above,
"I am unloved! I am unloved!"
Searching day and night across the lands
For someone, ANYONE to cherish him
Until he crossed paths with the swarm
Of botflies, who pestered in place
They looked at him like no one had before
"We will love you," said the botflies
"Just give us your body in return."
The man, desperate for love,
Let the botflies burrow into his skin.
Everyone in town would gawk
As the Botfly Man stumbled about
He heard them mutter as he roamed the streets
Calling him "foul," "putrid," and "repulsive"
But he simply smiled and thought,
"They're jealous I'm loved and that they're not"
Alas, the Botfly Man did not feel adored
After letting his devotion be swallowed by the horde
In a small spark of courage, the man said to the flies,
"I have given up my everything to you
Only asking for cherishment in return
Yet I still feel hollow in my heart
And your love bites are starting to burn."
The flies but snickered to each other
Before collectively laughing at Botfly Man,
"Desperate humans, what fools they are
Offer them anything and they bend to your will
Letting you use their bodies like whores
Don't fret, darling, we're spreading our affection,"
With unbridled desire, the botflies leered,
"From there, we'll be your loving puppeteer."
His eyes widened when he realized
That botflies were comprised of lies
He screeched and cried,
"I AM UNLOVED! I AM UNLOVED!"
Digging fingers into flesh, it was no use
Deep in his gut festers the botflies' abuse
He screamed louder, becoming maniacal,
Running through streets in a blindly panic
Feeling maggots slither underneath his skin
Crawling, feasting, growing within
Leeching toward his very core
He was empty inside, yet the flies craved more
The Botfly Man flailed his arms about
To the townspeople, he shrieked his final shout:
"I AM UNLOVED! I AM UNLOVED!
SAVE ME, SAVE ME, O HEAVENS ABOVE!
I WAS A VESSEL! THEY'RE PART OF ME NOW!
THEY SEE ME AS MERE PARASITE CHOW!
BOTFLIES CRAVE NOTHING BUT SKIN TO FILL!
CHARMS AND WILES THEY USE TO DRILL!
THEY TURN PEOPLE INTO REVOLTING NESTS!
MY BODY THEY WILL ENDLESSLY MOLEST!"
And with that, he fled from the town
Dragging his nasty botflies with him
Not by love, but still bound together
Intertwined within intestines forever
There goes the filthy Botfly Man,
Never meant to be loved again.
Maddie Hansen is extremely passionate about drawing, writing, and storytelling. She hopes to publish her own collection of poetry someday, with a drawing for each one. Check her out on Instagram: instagram.com/illiardbilliard