An Extraordinary Animal for Extraordinary Times


I cannot stop watching the YouTube video
of the man with a moth buried deep
in his ear, cannot stop thinking
about the wing strokes that filled
his dreams. Kumar, I am anxious
when I see someone pinned to the bed
by friends. How long should it take the head
to realize it is host  to an extraordinary
circumstance? How can he bear the knuckles
of the woman trying to extract the thorax
and not ask to be forgiven for his prior
transgressions?  Kumar, we grow attached
to the darkness that occupies us, no matter
how loud the song, how deep the well.  
When she pinches the abdomen, withdraws
the wings that have lost their soft powder,  the ash
they carried into a lit brain, I am still surprised
by the size of what she finds, as if I forgot
the definition of a moth and the shape that implies,
as if, Kumar, the idea of the moth was made
more beautiful, more devastating
when suddenly forced into the light.


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Albert Abonado is the Director of Adult Programs at Writers & Books. His work has appeared in Grist, New Ohio Review, Phantom Limb, Pleiades, Rattle, Sixth Finch, Tupelo Quarterly, and others. He is the author of the chapbook This is Superbook (H_NGM_N 2014). He lives in Rochester, NY with his wife and a hamster.