September Roll Call Topic: Insects

Winner: Danielle Lutes, "Solar"


Fourteen moths

Wings folded

Velvet scales of blue

Not brown

Not dirt

Or bark

Or depression


They were the rock I skipped

Seven hops across the pacific

Sapphires I pried from metal teeth

Discarded chain link necklace

Buried under sand

Like misplaced chests


Nine of them were dead

Legs curled like lover's fingers

The husk of their bodies

Would rattle like seed pods

If I dared to shake them in my palms


The rest orbited

Five planets in a system all my own



Circumnavigating the bulb

Naked in the lamp

No shade

No cover


They were seraphim

Save me

I plead

Let me harness my soul to your bodies

Everything that mattered was lost at the beach

I do not weigh much


Each flap of wings a heartbeat

Breath held to feel their pulse

They kissed my wrist

Fault lines of veins


Light off

Universe departed