There is a dead moth
Lying there on the long-ago painted red stairs
Still in his shades of obsidian, cream and granite.
I only look at him from a safe distance.
His body fluttered down when someone took the photo of the mosque down from the wall.
Even in his lifeless state, he frightened me.
For as long as I can remember, moths and butterflies, with their brightly-colored gossamer wings, have startled me.
Made my heart race,
Made me flinch
What tiny terror rooted itself so deeply in my heart
That a little girl with long brown hair and dark eyes still cannot move a dead moth from the stairs?
I came back and he is still here.
(Where did I think he would go?)
I cannot leave him there
For his body to be desecrated under someone's sole.
Even as the symbol of my fear,
He still had a soul.
(He took it with him when he left his body behind.)
I can imagine a ceremony for him
I would construct a tiny envelope of transluscent paper.
And on the outside, just write "Moth".
(Because I don't know what his name was.)
I would gently place him inside.
And carry this envelope with me everywhere
Until I found it, the perfect place.
(I have to remind myself at this point that I am only imagining this to keep myself from shuddering.)
I would find a patch of the most beautiful flowers.
Under the flowers,
Amongst the stems and dirt, I would leave him.
For his body to be accepted back to the earth.
To complete his homecoming.
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All writing contained in this website © 1998-2005 by Betty A. Parker