Cinnabar moths

Cinnabar Moths

Cinnabar moths

Up here is where I’m sure it was, all the
muted fluttering, on the ledges shouldered
beneath the newly-converted mills, lording it
over the gritted teeth of the stone-dark town.

I followed her, behind by a breath that still
tasted of kiss, enjoying the view, through a
chain of fields thigh-deep in flowers, the sky
both scrubbed blue and punched with bruises

at the same time. She seemed to know
all their names, the cornflowers, loosestrife,
pointed out the ragwort – poisonous to cattle
and the liquorice-striped caterpillars urgently

stripping its leaves. I fell back, now winded
with the effort, rolling their names on my tongue.
She seemed to know everything that mattered,
all except what was hatching away inside her.


first published in Firefly Magazine, issue 10, 2017


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