Weekly Write: “A Moth is Lying Dead” by James Redfern

A Moth is Lying Dead (Reflections on Saint Teresa)

a moth is lying dead
on the windowsill
of a rented room.

her wings are singed
and blackened
with the same sickness
ailing me.

a moth is lying dead
on the windowsill
of a rented room.

fuzzy thorax and little legs
no longer serving
a purpose
save collecting dust
blown in
through the window screen.

a moth is lying dead
on the windowsill
of a rented room.

still trying for a little more light
even as her mind
has moved on to another place,
still trying for one last fix
her wings burnt
and blackened already.

a moth is lying dead
on the windowsill
of a rented room.

the elegant patterns
of black and brown
on the backs of her wings
still visible
within the stinging chorus
of sirens’ seductive singing
telling tales of Icarian glory.

a moth is lying dead
on the windowsill
of a rented room.

lifeless and still,
no more flying and flittering
around blinding light
burning through sockets,
no more prison
inside the screen
feeling the sun from so very far away,
no more thoughts divine,
no more musing
on the way
the planets go round,
no more love
in her tiny, broken,
dusty little heart,
no more singing
in chorus with other wingéd
creatures crazy and running the skies,
no more nothing
save the final slow decay.

no more black-eyed friendships,
no more trying to score,
no more understanding
the loss of god on earth,
no more leaning into fire
until the fuzz and flesh burn off,
no more chains,
no more gravity,
no more waiting on death,
no more contemplation
of the longing
for an elsewhere messiah,
no more flying in circles
betraying subtle imperfections
as they grow ever smaller and tighter,
unflinching and closing in upon destiny
approaching the killing fire
to test the mettle of her soul incarnate
to test the truth of her spiritual love
to see how much she can take
before the burning really takes hold,
no more miscalculation,
no more blues suspended
in aching arching agony flight
somewhere between land and salvation,
no more of this,
no more moth obligations
and no more moth dues to pay,
no more got-no-place-to-land worries,
no more friends
no more expectations
no more ego
no more eyes feeding consciousness
no more living heart pumping blood
no more life
no more nothing.

the fire’s all gone.

a moth lies dead
on the windowsill
of a rented room.

James Redfern was born and raised in Long Beach, California. Redfern is a graduate of Grinnell College. His work has been published by Whizdome Press, Great Lakes Poetry Press, Transcend, Fear and Loathing in Long Beach, and elsewhere. He is the author of several novels (most recently HECATOMB) and several volumes of poetry (most recently Catfish in a Bowl Redux).



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