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Geckos in Obscure Light

Tentative, greedy, by night they came,
drawn to the insects drawn to the light.

Their shadow organs pulsed
beneath bellies distended as Falstaff's,

backs a tarnished armor studded
by the rosettes of some obscure disease.

What of their victims, the cannon fodder,
Welsh soldiery thrown each night

against the muzzle flare? Ragged, high-strung moths,
green lacewings streamlined like F-16só

the geckos, those great officers and kings,
took them into their mouths, more or less

at leisure, with a gratifying snap.
Silently, of course, through the pane of glass,

where death comes on a smaller scale.

William Logan

Madame X
Penguin Books

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