by Robert Avery
And then, bottle down, I caught sight
of a false-eyed moth which had somehow slipped
in here with me, an origami flower
fastened to the curtain’s floral pattern.
I opened the window to June, but it didn’t go.
I opened the window wider—no.
I bent my breath to bring a lucky wind,
but its fore-sails only twittered. Now, I knew
from before: the low tide, the false harbor,
the dead calm of the corner’s curled-up spider,
who refuses to recognize a misplaced hope
in empty nets. At my hand’s approach, it finally
let go, as if threatened by an odd-winged bird,
and flustered about the room until it lit
upon another coquelicot. Again
I offered delivery, again it fled.
It was like trying to trap an unregenerate man
in contradiction, to tear him from belief—
each effort thwarted by sophistic flight,
always arriving at a pretty conclusion.
But how could I give up on its escape,
insensible as I have been to help?