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Polyphemos, the giant silk worm moth

Tue May 14th, 2019

Propelled by torrents onto the lawn

    her fragile body wracked by rain

 

what looked like a throbbing leaf or grounded sparrow

   turned out to be the largest moth I’d ever seen

 

Watery drops rolled off her cinnamon wings like mercury balls

  when fully dry, they opened to the span of an octave

 

each wing had what looked like eye spots

   each circle, wide with surprise

  

as if drawn in pastel, the orbital rims goldenrod,

   yellow and chicory blue;

 

   each cellophane-like center,

the sclera, clear all the way through

 

but there was an inch-long gash in one wing

   which complicated things.

 

She rested indoors in the shadow of a paper bag,

    eventually to walk out from under, flapping;

 

antennae, twitched full of life,

   but she could not lift off 

 

could not propel herself upward

   and as she tried, the rip augmented