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ISSUE:  Summer 2018

The last time I left your house I saw a moth 
on the black skin of a puddle, ruining herself 
on the moon’s reflection. Dear sphinx hawkmoth 

I mistook for a hummingbird among the grapes. 
Darling metaphor at my feet. Damn fool. 
The water in me reached out for itself, 

which is the way of all good mirrors. It wanted 
its nest of stone. An hour before we’d scratched 
your ceiling into snow, dusted the blanket fort 

where we held each other and did the quiet work 
of intimacy and then the siren work of pleasure 
as the sheets fell down around us. I felt the dark 

coin of blood wish itself onto white cotton. 
I hadn’t known the meaning of missing, 
though lost was always clear. I gave your ghost 

ten minutes to ache in me. It took my throat. I took 
the wings from the moth. They were the soft, dishonest 
brown of my eyes. They wanted to belong to me. 

You must remember, though you weren’t there. 
It was the night you said sloth was not a vice 
of laziness but the refusal to seek God. 

The moth’s furred body twitched in my palm, 
drew her legs closer. My hands, an unclosed envelope, 
a failed prayer. She’d spent herself on the image 

of her desire, bright as a communion plate. 
When I left her wingless body on the wet moon 
I wanted her alive. I envied her suffering, 

thought she got what she wanted—not longing, 
not regret, but fulfillment, a whole sky, 
nothing in the end but light flooding into her.



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