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from Moth Light

Mitch Highfill

Moths Drink the Tears of Sleeping Birds

Strange moths pierce eyelids and drink the tears of sleeping birds.
Like this moth, here under your eyelid --
a strange little noise comes out of its mouth
over violins and guitar strings, kittens,
strange food, and ruminations on life.
The strange habits of many insects have helped
connect the Man-Moth with strange legendary creatures
in obscure palaces of brightly colored-powders.
I think the one on the left is a Bogan moth
whose VERY orange head
feeds upon dreams and consciouness.

With a start he felt the strange moth blunder into his face,
and I was right there waiting with the camera set to
shutter speed of 1/350th second.
Weird moth.... and nice sniper kitty model glass vampire.
Last night, against the white wall, by the bed-post
I heard the eerily beautiful music of moth wings
replete with kathak dancers and pet elephants.
My landlady could not possibly understand about the strange moth,
having righted himself now lay most decently and uncomplainingly,
my hands moving like strange moths above the meat.

Scientists are uncertain what the moths are seeking,
While defenders of the peppered moth have "marginalized"
scientists for taking a jar of moths into the theater.
The reason nobody studies the moths is what I found most interesting.

But you’re a moth, and the moths are eating the mouse food
and you are are unable to fly during an earthquake
and you hasten to where there is nothing at all
nothing but moth music from outer space.



Moth Tears

The tears of the sparrow taste like the rain
which brings the dust of midnight sadness.
Most moths, though, have no mouths
and enter winged life for sex alone,
and stay awake for two whole
nights in a row. But how
do they get the birds to cry
while they're sleeping?

If moth tears can reflect light
through a parade of moth holes,
cigarette burns, snags and tears
(or riding With the Blue Moth --
not the powdered gem tone
eye shadowed moth; I burst
into tears, refusing to kill
the moth whose dance
around the candle is how
we know that there are
tears of fire and light.



Birds Cry

The bird's cry sounds like its name
because the world is on fire.
If bird cries are cries of ecstasy
or cries of despair, then forty birds
gather around the corpse of the bird
of the black rainy clouds.

Birds can blink their eyes like humans,
but the birds who made this cry
were white birds, manipulated bird cries
played on the national radio station
while fishes' eyes are filled with tears.

When a person cradles a bird,
one more bird cry is never again cried.
Bird deterrent products tap into
the mirror image of exotic thick jungles,
like birds that 'cry wolf'
or the haunted cry of a long gone bird.

The trees in the village cry.
They think it is the beginning of spring
and as they cried, out came a little bird.
The hardest thing about force
feeding him was watching him cry.
The birds? They don’t cry.
They call a primitive root; to coo or chirp
or so they say.

We become birds in heaven.