Dead Moths, Wishful Thinking and a Boy I Used to Know

4 October 2016

I read somewhere that moths use moonbeams to guide them back to their nests at night – something to do with their internal navigation systems. This made me pity the lost ones, trapped like paper cutouts in the light fixtures of my childhood home. Home is far from here. I sympathise with the moths desperately looking for it in 10 dollar light bulbs. I, too, find myself searching for it in ginger tea and other people’s coat pockets. The moon hangs like a fluorescent lantern outside my window, but it’s a shade dimmer than the moon that would lick my cheeks while my mother howled at me to come in for dinner.

We are standing in an elevator and I point at the dead insects forming patterns in the overhead panels. You nod, even though I’m not quite sure you really heard me. But your eyes look familiar, so I let you craft me wings, only to rip them off with your fingers later. Crouch and make myself small, so I fit in your mason jar.

It’s 3am and we’re lying in bed. I press my ear to your chest like a child snuggled against the ground hoping to hear fairies. There are crowds of them sitting in your ribcage, and they’re humming Christmas carols because I see God every time I look at you. Even swathed in harsh light, I fail to see you for what you are: a boy wrapped in a cocoon of dirty sweater, and I, a moth circling a kitchen lamp it thinks is the moon.


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