La Playita

Remember the time it snowed moths

on New Year’s? That sweltering December

 

melting into January, a hush of wings

as they settled, cocooning the church,

 

drifting over the flagstones like dry leaves,

little things borne on a scrap of breeze.

 

Of course you don’t remember,

because I’m only telling you now.

 

Something shifted that night.

You said I shouldn’t worry,

 

gathering their wings from the cracks,

& leaves from in the grass,

 

pressing them together in pages

which I would open once a month

 

to watch the veins spreading,

palmate, dry of life, because

 

you weren’t there & I wasn’t

& neither was the third day

 

of that year, when the moths,

having died, began to rise up

 

in bright columns, in beams of heavy air,

off to fill a space where nobody was.

 


Henry Whittier-Ferguson