Every few days another moth appears.
I hear them rattling between the window
and rice paper taped across the glass
to hinder the curiosity of addicts. These large
cigarillo-thick animals bang the walls
with their eccentricity and fur, eventually
bumping into the light over my desk where
dust falls from their wings onto the backs
of my hands. I suppose they come
from some crack in the floor, larvae
transformed into an air-borne cigar
so unlike a butterfly’s flying scrap of silk.
I feel less lonely when they come. I imagine
they are asking for help, and I am a hero.
I catch them in a plastic cup and toss them
into the night air from my doorstep.
But then one night it occurred to me
that maybe it’s the same moth over and over,
and I am not understanding
what keeps happening, here, at all.
Published online March 01 2012.
Michael Lithgow’s poetry has appeared in Arc Poetry Magazine, The New Quarterly and The Fiddlehead. His first solo collection, Waking in the Tree House, will be published in Spring 2012 by Cormorant Books. He is currently a contributing editor at ArtThreat.net, research associate with the Canadian Alternative Media Archive project, and director of OpenMedia.ca.