for dustfromamoth-about dfam. & around dfam.

she did not mean to kill the colors
pulled from the sky
she only wanted it to be near her


but when she held it in her fingers
more fragile than crystal
as light as a whisper
she knew
it would never fly again
and the evidence left behind
on her hands
made it clear
she would not be innocent
ever again

After Miss Millay

And must you die as well, belovèd moth,
Beneath the wheel, upon a shield of glass,
Or buried deep in naphtha fumes, and pass
Eternity in folded woolen cloth?
No, moth, for when your desiccated wings
Are pinned and still, where beauty was, the trace
Will linger--nor can any hand erase
The dusty sign of where you fluttered--things
Have gone too far for that. You've been around
And 'round the streetlamps, left a film of scales
To mark your flight. And were you stamped so flat
As postcards lost and trampled in the ground,
Still each lamp would wear a filter of that
Dust, belovèd, 'til the last light fails.

--presented by the author to dustfromamoth, as a jeweler gives a setting to a stone, and particularly for meritorious noding.

And you as well must die, belovèd dust,

having been made in bright stars, ancient diamonds,

having fused like thought, gas into metal, weight into light, eternal fire into ash and air and iron,

you strike us from nowhere, brightness beyond all compare, a pantheon stunned in a cymbal shout

whose waves

travelling ever echoing agelong journeying (never settling always streaming like fears in blackness, unshared untouched and silent)

enter the stream of dust, sing magnetic music, hear the cello from infinity, the lowest and slowest master of dance, gravity, invisible,

unhurrying to gather in the crystal scintillae from every broken star, embrace, coax, sweetly call them together to build new clouds, new flecks, new heat: build a star fire from the memory of another.

You, star, shining dust, irradiate and illumine your dancing companions, whirl them round you, bring us to order, tend and attend our growth, the deserts and the water, the rust and sulfur and ice.

Between the mercurial and the plutonian, a margin, a pool, a motion, a plash, where the one lord of space lays down its reign, to hear a song beginning here: in dust from a star amid fire and water. Quick, fleeting, deathly life, instants of recombination, dissolution.

In this irresistible, never-ending song are all the colours our first stars could only imagine: blue-green and brown, coral, peacock, sea anemone and rose, roan on a pony, bluebells in the woods where I write. Memory now, but they'll be back next year. The oaks and hornbeams are a vibrant green to drink in the light's life. I can hear them dreamy with delight.

These as well must fade, redden, fall, sink into the ground to feed other life. Annelid, isopod, ant, new bluebells and acorn oaks. And in the soil with them are Celts, who turned the earth to wall and pot, and Romans who followed them and acted dramas and languished for love, and you and I who after picking berries shall have our several beds within, for we as well, beloved Pony, and all...

i would compare you to a cashmere scarf gritchka. That's you.

Out in space our messages go, sought by some unimaginable Arecibo, whose she and he wait to greet us, or catch the dust of our voices, or wonder whether our dry bones and wet laughter rain down across the cometary voids into their fresh hair. Messages, descendants, memories.

The earth will not always be: and the sun as well must change, swell, greaten, become orange, intoxicate the watchers with its blaze, then red! Coal red, ruby, geranium, lipstick red, sadness red, doom red.

Our song is quivering on the waves of void, like a moth in a forest, but the old lord is louder than her now, and his rhythm draws the dust from a star into its next fairy-tale: and this a millionfold when we look

up at the stars

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