Thursday, June 4, 2009

Cecropia Moths Mating

At midnight the chrysalis splits
and the female moth emerges,
her six-inch wingspan rumpled,
her mouthless segmented torso
limber and curved like a smile.
The male’s there waiting for her.
With a shudder of fragile patterns
they mate, knotting one bowtie.

I watch from only inches away,
pointing a camera to capture
this world-class pornography.
Too gradual, almost motionless,
this sex act defies the logic
of wasting most of a life cocooned. 

Spangled with blue and red knobs,
the rubbery green caterpillar
that last summer crept from leaf
to leaf with gourmet intentions
seemed a bustle of self-propulsion 
compared to these excruciating
creatures locked in a gesture
no human form could emulate
without collapsing into boredom.

Overhead, Canis Major crosses
the sky at a silent gallop.
The Dipper pours thousands of stars.
Whole galaxies snuff as forces
apply urgencies of dark matter
to the space we thought was empty
until physics taught us better.

The moths by pairing have perfected
their pattern of camouflage
and don’t require my guardianship;
so after I’ve snapped my photos
I walk away convinced I’ve seen
nothing my gray old passions
couldn’t have projected in dreams.


1 comment:

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