Hinged Double Sonnet for the Luna Moths

LunaMaruyama Ōkyo (圓山 應舉, June 12, 1733 – August 31, 1795)

 

Hinged Double Sonnet For The Luna Moths
by Sean Nevin

       —Norton Island, Maine

For ten days now, two luna moths remain
silk-winged and lavish as a double broach
pinned beneath the porch light of my cabin.
Two of them, patinaed that sea-glass green
of copper weather vanes nosing the wind,
the sun-lit green of rockweed, the lichen’s
green scabbing-over of the bouldered shore,
the plush green peat that carpets the island,
that hushes, sinks then holds a boot print
for days, and the sapling-green of new pines
sprouting through it. The miraculous green
origami of their wings—false eyed, doomed
and sensual as the mermaid’s long green fins:
a green siren calling from the moonlight.

A green siren calling from the moonlight,
from the sweet gum leaves and paper birches
that shed, like tiny white decrees, scrolled bark.
They emerge from cocoons like greased hinges,
all pheromone and wing, instinct and flutter.
They rise, hardwired, driven, through the creaking
pine branches tufted with beard moss and fog.
Two luna moths flitting like exotic birds
towards only each other and light, in these
their final few days, they mate, then starving
they wait, inches apart, on my cabin wall
to die, to share fully each pure and burning
moment. They are, like desire itself, born
without mouths. What, if not this, is love?


from Oblivio Gate, published in 2008 by Southern University Press

 

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Published in: on September 3, 2015 at 11:07 pm  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. How genuine and quietly moving to read about the Luna moth of my youth and remember many fanciful days, myself in the hunt for these delicate velvety creatures. My collection housed several that had already spent their charmed lives amongst the birches. I used to lie on the deep carpet of moss, beside the birches watching and wondering about these delicate creatures of the night.


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