Fireflies Unlimited

by Anna Kisby

We’re in the half-built house
in Vermont – me and the man
I nearly marry, but don’t – unroofed, holes
where windows will fit. In sleeping bags
on untreated boards, night falls and fireflies
arrive – a quickstep, a certainty, a flute added to
flute they synchronise. This was the dreamtime,
the simple time, that time between schooldays
and real life. Do you remember such a time
of firsts? We were living hand to mouth –
dollars counted into palms,
money soft as moth-wings.

In those days we went looking
for what we didn’t know was there.
Our reward: fireflies without borders –
un-tame, a coming-together-last-minute plan.
We watch them sandpaper the sky, they jerk for joy,
they jagger, god’s own migraine. In lightning-tongue
they sing to us Forget your sad cities of light, we are
our own ferris wheels. 
Now the roof must be on,
the forest cleared for lawn, each patio slab
a square of extinguished light. Anytime I want
I can catch them there, fireflies in a jar –
a torch-full of past, banging at the sides of this glass.