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A Last Moth of August


With a wing cocked towards a lit lamp,
            he can change the night's mood.
                         Change its course, too. Maestro,
do you never tire, as I do,
            of trash-talking to the hands that flutter
                         after you? Or sassing
this rolled-up newspaper that eons ago
            our progenitors perused
                         in the sweet half-light.

Apparently it's already September.
            I guess that makes me
your bad news. Don't watch. Here's
            my hand in descent.
How gently       your wingbeats
   enter me       as I hover,       briefly,
tasting the delicate light,       trembling
   as blackbirds       bullet by.


Nance Van Winckel

Pacific Walkers
University of Washington Press


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