One moment it is summer, glasses
of white wine in our hands as we hover
around Beverly’s evening primrose bush
awaiting the promised 9:10 p. m. show.
Soon enough, I’ll be barefoot
in the cold grass picking apples
and listening for elk hollering like ghosts
in their fierce and protective courting,
the season a lightless tunnel, the path
in darkness. But at this moment there
they are, petals shivering loose from
furled cones, flitting out their buttery
wings into fragrant four-fingered palms.
Oh, I think, as we all say oh, oh,
there it is: the way to flare from shelter,
willing burst and die. We stand
quiet now as the sphinx moths arrive.