What of the moth that drinks tears from the eyes of birds?
Autumn’s maple leaves could be cardinals,
their precarious hold, the way a few
dangerously perch as though tethered
to the fragile. I think of a moth from Madagascar
that drinks tears from the eyes of sleeping birds,
a small saucepan of eyelid acting as well,
the moth’s harpoon proboscis dipping to drink
from the unassuming. Nightly, I close my eyes
hoping no thirsty moth flutters nearby. What’s
feared is the unknown, the way death of anything
becomes a hoodlum stalker of the unassuming; dipping
into surprise, Here I am and there’s nothing you can do.
Sometimes a thing catches you unaware,
like how divorce migrates from empty excuses,
to a filing of papers, someone at the door
with their delivery. It’s not how a thing’s explained,
rather intention, how it dips in value,
sucking belief things last.
Dianna MacKinnon Henning’s work has been published in The Moth, Ireland; Sukoon, Volume 5; Mojave River Review; the New Verse News; Hawaii Pacific Review; Sequestrum; South Dakota Review; Naugatuck River Review; Lullwater Review; The Kentucky Review; Blue Fifth Review; The Main Street Rag; Clackamas Literary Review; 22 wagons by Danijela Trajković, Istok Akademia, an anthology of contemporary Anglophone poetry; California Quarterly; Poetry International and Fugue. Three-time Pushcart nominee. New work due out 2019 in New American Writing, The Kerf. Henning taught through California Poets in the Schools, received several CAC grants, and taught poetry workshops through the William James Association’s Prison Arts Program. Henning’s third poetry book, Cathedral of the Hand, was published in 2016 by Finishing Line Press.