Kid Moth

by Jay Bernard

They lift her by her corners.
Dusting her with the soot of flight,
They wing-beat, blind –
Into the crevices of the evening,
Carrying the baby spine.

At first they looked for antennae
When she was found curled next to the mother.
They looked for the stump of wings
To teach her to soar
But thought maybe arms would do.
She would flap, collide against the air
And look up at the flight of the others.

They hovered with scraps of sock,
Old denim and worn wardrobe suits.
They dropped them in
Marvelling at the single red tongue.
Soon they watched her crawl across the floor.
Too delicate for discovery, she picked
The buttonholes of vagrants,
Looking for thread.

At night
They listened to her navel for whispers,
To see if she could hear the lunar proverbs.
She learned to sing,
learned their audio.

They taught her to sit on the sills of windows
Mesmerised by the blue flick of TV screens.
And once they found her twenty feet up
Hugging the bulb of a street lamp.
She had never slept so close to the moon –
She dreamed that she could graze the cusp,
Press her face against its glow.