Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
In Your Room, a Moth, Trying to Get at the Light Source

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Catch it with your net,
twist the green fabric,
bring it beneath a moon
like your toes.
Make a flesh chrysalis,
ask me if I feel the wings
against your palm
because in three years
you have not learned that you can feel things
that I cannot.
Open hand, let it crawl onto your thumb—
skinny black tongue, wiping at your oil on its head—
look at the dust it leaves on your skin,
smear it on your shorts.

How to tell you that I am
the moth?
How to tell you what it is
to live
with the hand that starts
in a place near my Cesarean scar,
that rises and grips
at lungs?
It moves fast
when the net I built to catch
a self
gets too close
to the fire of the present moment,
which you will not let me forget.

Do I teach
you
to build your own?
A place to fragment?
Do not listen to me.

you are the moth and I am the moth and the moth is us and we are the hand and we are the net and we are the room and we are the moon


Anna Gates Ha earned her MFA in fiction at Saint Mary’s College of California. Her short fiction, nominated for the Pushcart Prize, has appeared in Harpur Palate, and her poetry has appeared in Watershed Review.


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