24 August 2008 | Vol. 8, No. 2

Hinged Double Sonnet for the Luna Moths

– Norton Island, Maine

For ten days now, two luna moths remain

silk-winged and lavish as a double broach

pinned beneath the porch light of my cabin.

Two of them, patinaed that sea-glass green

of copper weather vanes nosing the wind,

the sun-lit green of rockweed, the lichen's

green scabbing-over of the bouldered shore,

the plush green peat that carpets the island,

that hushes, sinks, then holds a deep boot print

for days, and the sapling-green of new pines

sprouting through it. The miraculous green

origami of their wings—false eyed, doomed

and sensual as the mermaid's long green fins:

a green siren calling from the moonlight.

A green siren calling from the moonlight,

from the sweet gum leaves and paper birches

that shed, like tiny white decrees, scrolled bark.

They emerge from cocoons like greased hinges,

all pheromone and wing, instinct and flutter.

They rise, hardwired, driven through the creaking

pine branches tufted with beard moss and fog.

Two green moths flitting like exotic birds

toward only each other and light, in these

their final few days, they mate half-starved, then

wait inches apart on my cabin wall

to die, to share fully each pure and burning

moment. They are, like desire itself,

born without mouths. What, if not this, is love?

About the author:

Sean Nevin teaches creative writing at Arizona State University where he is director of the Young Writer's Program and is co-editor of 22 Across: a Review of Young Writers. He is the recipient of Literature Fellowships in Poetry from both the NEA and the Arizona Commission on the Arts. His poems have been published in numerous journals including: the Gettysburg Review, North American Review, 42opus, JAMA, and Hayden's Ferry Review. He is the author of A House that Falls (Slapering Hol Press) and Oblivio Gate, which won the Crab Orchard Award Series in Poetry First Book Prize (Southern Illinois University Press).

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by Sean Nevin at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 8, No. 2, where "Hinged Double Sonnet for the Luna Moths" ran on August 24, 2008. List other work with these same labels: poetry, sonnet.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

copyright © 2001-2011
XHTML // CSS // 508