Moth, Horse, Accident, Skin

A moth’s dull wings
wetted into a brass
crease. Once

someone remembered me
crossing the ravine. My bare feet stung on the sharp
cinder, rain slid the mudbank over which
orange blossoms sagged and the trill
echo of the last bird narrowed
the sky. Someone saw me

as I saw myself: a small child scrawling
my name in the dirt with a rusted nail,

straining softly like the clang in the Elm tree
of a tiny bell, the wind was so faint
I could never wake
into it. All night, I lay
my chest over a stranger’s back. My heartbeat
pressed his shoulder blade. I stroked
his hair as the hunger
of my body stalled under the canopy
of summer heat, and the window filled

with a silent tick of snow. The muzzle
of a horse rose and lowered—once,
sharply. Following this, the original shape of the mare
reared in flames. My pulse stung my throat. I lay
trapped under the Cadillac’s door as fire swept

the stubble field; smoke
like a crow’s wing, flagged
the vetch and settled
over the old date orchard. The sun
was a blinding hallucination. I rubbed my swollen

belly’s parchment of stretch marks. By noon, after weeding
I lay down in the yellow grass. The ache of labor
shines up through my shoulders, not wanting
the inside of my mouth to ripen, while

two moths gather under a street lamp’s green halo
and drown in a blossom of dusk.  end