360 – The Moth

Poem number 360
The Moth
The curtain rises, and the Moth enters stage right
So small and fragile, with paper thin wings
And a simple, one track mind.
It pauses, as if listening to a call from offstage
(Stay out of the light Carol Ann!)
But it doesn’t, it can’t.
Drawn by forces beyond its control
(The Millennium Falcon in a tractor-beam)
It heads, unwavering for the light.
The audience is sparse tonight
Just the two of us, side by side in bed
She sees the Moth’s entrance and screams
Screams enough to bring the house down
She is afraid of moths.
I look up. Bored. I am not afraid of moths
And I’ve seen this play before
I know how it ends.
I refuse all invitations to audience participation
And simply watch. Impatient
For the denouement.
I want to go back to my book.
She quivers, her hands over her ears
As if expecting the Moth to crawl
Down her aural tract, entwine around her brainstem
And make her eternally susceptible to suggestion.
(Commander Chekov on Ceti Alpha V)
The Moth reaches the Death Star
Settles on the surface with a small hiss
Of satisfaction. Tiny wisps of smoke from the kamikaze wingtips
And it is over.
My eyes turn back to my book
Her hands come down from her ears
But she is still shaking.
We both hope it was just a one act play.


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