Richie Hofmann • Fly

What the richest man in Rome feared most of all,
Pliny tells us, was losing his sight.  The man wore Greek charms
around his neck in order to prevent it.  He carried a living fly
in a white cloth that he might keep seeing.
Perhaps he thought the fly’s many eyes were a blessing.

Apologizing, devising elaborate rituals—
What will I carry?  I have been counting ways
of keeping you.

Richie Hofmann, a 2012 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellow and MFA student at Johns Hopkins University, has poems appearing in Ploughshares, New RepublicPoetry, and the New Yorker, among others.