Monday, June 5, 2017

Important Uses for the Comma




Sometime last night,
Perhaps when I stepped outside
To listen to the whisper
Of conversation between
The owls in the trees, backyard,
And then slipped in again
Through the sliding glass door,

A thin black moth flew too close behind me
Just at the wrong moment
And fell prisoner all night
Trapped between the two doors--
A pane of glass
and the mesh of screen.
I saw it this morning, the moth,

Looking like a forgotten comma,
A simple stain of black ink
On the reflective page--
A sentence trailing off,
Staring out at the green of trees and grass
And the blue of sky
It could only recall now as a memory,

Wondering, perhaps, just
What had happened, anyway,
To the slightest breath of breeze
That could, in the best of moth-moments,
Suddenly unwrinkle its
Black rice-paper wings and
Lift it to the grass and trees of green
And the sky of blue,
With nothing to connect to now
Save unfulfilled desire.
So I slid open the doors

And let it go.
It flew tentatively within
The morning's warmth,
As if unsure what to do
With its new-found freedom,
Circled drunkenly for a second or two,
And then lifted clumsily carefree

Toward the protective canopy of leaf green,
A balance of mindfully intentioned
Parallelism and freefall
Fluttering stream-of-consciousness,
A chance to pause, until in a flare of
Brilliant sunshine I lost it far above

                                     somewhere in the blue desire.

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