Today's poem is by Joshua Poteat


I see fireflies as perforations, the meadow

                as graphed squares of abandonment.

This is no way to live. And vision isn't insight,
                          it's almost ephemeral, though how much

can the sky take of the moon's constant betrayal,

                while the sun is burning off its orphans below?

Sharpened at an angle, the moon slits the hill, sifts the wind
                          for truths, no death to hide. I once thought

that fireflies could speak, across the woods

                their message wavering after twilight had gone

and left us alone, the shadow of my lost hand
                          haloed with crushed moths. What is spun out

in devout silence falls eventually to ruin, coarsens

                our every veil. I should have known.

All of our endings cannot be turned away.
                          The fireflies are content to outlive me.

Cocoons frail winged in sleep can't wait to outlive me.

                This is a matter for the moon, momentary bower

where the fences are down and the animals
                          do not move for fear or sadness.

What I want from God is to dissolve the stars

                inside our vessels, to hum with the tincture

of the pure in the studied, numerous leaves.

Copyright © 2009 Joshua Poteat All rights reserved
from Illustrating the Machine That Makes the World
The University of Georgia Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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