6 August 2007 | Vol. 7, No. 2

Works of Mercy


The fisherman threatens to climb philodendrons with daisy cutters. Threatens to mount his motorbike barebacked. Ursula emerges from behind stacked bricks. Like hyenas they thrash in ghetto-rage.


Daughter pirouettes on Formica slabs in lavender tutu. Pirouettes off stage at Tiny Tot Theater. Behind crushed velvet in pigtails she takes a last lick of Tutti Frutti before she jumps into Swan Lake.


1, 2, 3—plunk!


Fisherman appears in his felucca filled with clusters of daisies, a crown of thorns. Arms clutched around his catch of the day as his daughter flails in screaming madness.


Psalm 5 is whispered to the virgin mujaheddin, he forgets the pseudepigraphic hymns omitted by King James. Ursula takes hold of a daisy-colored orb, splits the host into two half-moons—serves the philistine a chalice, a spoon—inside their sub-urban dwelling. She gives suck to his father's mercy, gives suck to the virgin mujaheddin.


The mother gives milk to muskrats behind gates to the prison of madness, or the Well-Regarded Community, while the gatekeeper sells 6-packs to the fisherman's Ursula, as the fisherman readies his felucca for another go. Ursula takes fisherman behind daft-wall and makes use of his petite sailing boat while his wife, her body an s, slumps into a stone pit.


Like nanoplankton the family feeds/fed on hunks of graphite, plumbago, soft, dark-grey matter, with clusters of blue, red, and white flowers, daisy-like and almost pluperfect.

About the author:

Neil de la Flor's literary work has appeared in the Indiana Review, Hotel Amerika, Court Green, Barrow Street, Hayden's Ferry Review, and others. He is also the co-author of Facial Geometry, (NeO Pepper Press) a chapbook of collaborative triads written with Maureen Seaton and Kristine Snodgrass.

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by Neil de la Flor at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 7, No. 2, where "Works of Mercy" ran on August 6, 2007. List other work with these same labels: poetry, prose poem.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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