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.