Icarus

1 September 2013

The black outside presents a screen behind my window.
I am watching a documentary on moths — large and small,
white and brown — Ghost Moths, Bogon Moths, Tiger Moths.
(Listen, listen to the tapping of the Morse code.)
They flitter and dart, crawl restlessly towards my lounge
room light through the glassed illusion of a vertical labyrinth.
Suddenly, a shadow appears and dives like a war jet.
(Listen, listen — the music speeds up!)
The large Ghost Moth, splayed in the window’s corner
disappears. Again and again, the bat attacks and retreats.
The rabble of moths vanishes, one by one. Credits role.
(Listen, listen — the closing music is sad.)
Guilty of my part in drawing these creatures towards their
death, the next night when they gather, I switch off my light;
sink into a place like the bottom of the ocean.
(Listen, listen to the navigational clues.)
The moths stir, flutter one last time in a pale blur before
setting their sights on the fullness of the moon, on that great
expanse of space between dark and light, death and life.
(Listen, listen — turn off the lights and listen,
for our small hands hold the power of the sun
and the earth is as fragile as waxed wings.)

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