Three Moths

Nell Smith

During summer
I spent many hours high
between the rafters and stacked bales
hiding away
chewing pieces of hay and staring
at the thick, brown barn spiders
suspended like dark stars in the constellations of their webs.
A moth twisted in turmoil
as they strolled across their night ropes
weaving their own kind of cocoons
from which nothing beautiful would emerge.

I haven’t seen them,
but I’ve heard that in Madagascar there are moths
with eyes like sunrises in darkened orbs.
At night they travel quietly,
a small silent flutter brushing satin feathers,
landing gently, the bird sleeps on
a slender proboscis slipping between eyelids sipping the salty tears.

A moth once flew into my mouth
before it went quivering back into the night
I can still feel the moth against my tongue
sweetness, warm, and musty, just for a moment
The taste of mushrooms and chamomile
brushing delicately the contour of my lips.


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