The War of the Moths

You can tell the violence of the battle when you come home by the number of wings that cover your carpet.

They are green as emeralds, these wings.
Green as the new leaves that uncurl so late in the spring on the weeping beech outside the house you grew up in.
They swirl and puff into the air when you open your door.
Rise around your ankles when you cross the room to turn on the lamp.
As they settle you hear the distant tinnitus of trumpets.
Fife and drum.

Your vacuum cleaner sweeps great avenues clear to the carpet.
The spotted beige of your second-hand floor emerging from beneath the wild green.
What were they fighting for, you wonder, knuckles swollen a little from the vibration.
What was worth dying for?

At last you shut off your vacuum, floor empty again, still puzzled.

You carry the bag out into the soft caress of a June evening.
The moon is giant and orange and low on the horizon.
In the street light filtering through the branches the wings leap and flit again, beat once more in life as they fall into the dumpster.
In and out of light, dark.