Moth

I’m watching it take a long time to die.
Last night, over and over,
it tried to reach the lamp,
nirvana,
scampering up the wall
until its crabbed wings gave out.

But you just didn’t get that it’s over, moth.

I watched it out of boredom,
the banality of it’s death,
there was nothing else worth doing.
The silence of a dying moth
kept me awake.

It’s still at it this morning,
keeps falling on its back,
choking on the last green spasms,
the light’s not even on anymore.

The world’s long gone out for you, buddy.

Outside when the sun comes up,
I’ll go scampering after my own lamps.
Outside on the blazing pavement,
the spasm of life will go on, self-defeating.
None of them will know when to give it up.

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The Insects

I

Without a heart, they cannot break as we do.
And without dreams, they love the way that soil loves,
lacking enemies.
They are the warmth of movement in our decay.
But we are burdened by a thought and an image
that expires in a sad flame.
We are what they diligently tear and scatter
in an undergrowth of dead years,
our years,
awaiting the mouths of their relentless love.

II

I gather about me a moss of need,
sentiment, dream and craving.
Like the rock of afflicted mollusks,
I am a burden of sea, a salt trailed by wounds.
The clay of accumulated sorrow spoils my form.
But they are nature’s perfected coil,
the smooth and frightening form of life without remorse.
Everything else is unrequired.

III

I do not want a bone of song.
I no longer desire a midday loaded with light.
Beneath a country of moist leaves,
I seek transformation, like you,
to outlive the skeleton of my death,
to be a raw and glistening nerve under the moon.

IV

On a bitter leaf, I struggled from
a chrysalis of memory.
Everywhere, wings were blooming.