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