Little One

Little moth wings crawl their way up the screen and I watch as its tiny legs move its tiny body higher and higher at a crushingly helpless pace. It is trapped inside the window. Between the glass and the screen. I can see it from the inside and it could see me but it is facing the the other way. Its eyes can see the sky.

It’s crawling against the meshing, trying to get free. I don’t know how it got in there. I know it can breathe. I see it can move but cannot fly, it keeps tumbling back down into the well. It is a most pitiful sight.

Why does it even try.

Because it has no other choice. It can either make attempts at freedom or sit and wait and die, return to dust.

The house is quiet and dim, only the sounds of the heater, crackling. I set my coffee down on the table. I slide the window up along its track and remove the screen. The little moth climbs onto my finger and I move my hand out into the frosty autumn wind. The winged stranger flutters and falls and then flies crooked into a bed of dried leaves below.

Closing the glass pane, I wrap up in a blanket and take a long hot sip of my coffee. It is a gorgeous morning. The sky is light blue, washed in soft pink. A perfectly tall naked tree snakes its wild silvery branches high into the empty openness. Orange and golden light spills onto the distant rolling hills and I imagine holding on to nothing.

Opening up my slender hands and letting go.

I remember exactly what it felt like to crawl to you on my hands and knees and beg. The flash of your eyes and your teeth, and your firm feet between my legs. My mouth waters and my jaw aches.

I imagine the world on fire and watching it burn.

Everything I ever thought or wrote about going up in black smoke. It smells like spiced embers and feels like liquid heat scorching through me, skin and lungs and bone.

I do not move. I do not run away. I cannot move. I cannot breathe. If only some stronger hand would appear. Would open the window for me.

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