Come Moths

Fleda Brown

Come moths
to the sticky triangular tents I have placed
in the closet, in the pantry, come down
with your tiny paper wings and brown
anonymity. Come uncatchable loose flecks
of the universe, come smudges,
come floaters in the eye,
mispunctuated sentences, misappropriated funds.
Gather into the dark. Let me be free of holes
in the weave, let me be free even
of the idea of mistake. Come moths
to your natural doom and I to mine, for you
have already eaten through
what I had chosen to wear, what I had hoped.
You have made me see the light.
Now we are together in this, finishing
each other, pro and con.

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Fleda Brown’s The Woods Are on Fire: New & Selected Poems was chosen for the Ted Kooser Contemporary Poetry series (2017). She is the author of nine collections of poetry and served as the poet laureate of Delaware from 2001–07. Her poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry. She is the recipient of a New Letters Prize for Poetry, a Pushcart Prize, and the Philip Levine Prize, among other honors. She teaches in the Rainier Writing Workshop and lives in Traverse City, Michigan.

New Letters

Volume 84, Numbers 2 & 3

Kansas City, Missouri

University of Missouri-Kansas City

Editor: Robert Stewart
Assistant Editor: Ashley Wann
Administrative Director: Katie Taylor

“One of America’s most consistently interesting literary magazines. Both on the air and on the page, New Letters makes a serious contribution to culture across the nation.”
—Alan Cheuse, National Public Radio book critic

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