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Once on an eve a time alone, a moth

stole fluttery upon her arm and stayed

awhile for her. A table's beacon lamp,

attractive and alight, beamed bright appeal

to flight's flickery of yellow-brown specks

- and squeaked an alarm entranced in a fright.

She tensed, alert, arrested and in thrall,

and dusk held shadows. The soft, pulpy body

seemed right: it wasn't sad; it was certain.

It flapped feathery, secreted stirrings.

It was beautiful and unexpected.

It was death: a skull pattern told her so.

It said to stop trying, to stop being

the person who had been the camouflage.

Crawling up her arm were the missing signs:

the tears at night, the desperate fumbles,

the panic in trains, lifts she didn't drive.

The moth stirred furtive insinuations;

a creep along, besides, inside to fears

of secret places kept click-locked in traps.

She knew, but not how she knew, that the moth

would later brave the hum of the bees' hives,

with its special scent and strange squeaking

and lull the sting of the venom impromptu.

And having drunk deep the gloop of honey

would take flight to safe reverberations.

She shifted to the stance where her shadow

no longer lingered in light of its own fear.

The moth had gone, a flit, a shade to shade,

and took her anguish, her lost nights with it.

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