Company of Moths
We thought it could all be found in The Book of Poor Text, the shadow the boat casts, angled mast, fretted wake, indigo eye. Windows of the blind text, keening, parabolic nights. And the rolling sun, sun tumbling into then under, company of moths. Can you hear what I'm thinking, from there, even as you sleep? Streets of the Poor Text, where a child's gaze falls on the corpse of a horse beside a cart, whimpering dog, woman's mute mouth agape as if to say, We must move on, we must not stop, we must not watch. For after all, do the dead watch us? To memorize precisely the tint of a plum, curve of a body at rest (sun again), the words to each popular song, surely that would be enough. For are you not familiar with these crows by the shore? Did you not call them sea crows once? Did we not discuss the meaning of "as the crow flies" one day in that square — station of exile — under the reddest of suns? And then, almost as one, we said, It's time. And a plate shattered, a spoon fell to the floor, towels in a heap by the door. Drifts of cloud over steeples from the west. Faith in the Poor Text. Outline of stuff left behind.
Copyright © 2005 by Michael Palmer. From Company of Moths. Reprinted with permission of New Directions Publishing.