Moth Dust


In a cafe my friend told me,
"You can't stroke moths because you stroke off all their moth dust
and they can't fly. I think they die."

I've seen those creatures,
mad with candles, stuttering in paroxysms
on hot wet nights. I hate them on sight.

The mindless flutter,
the grief-stricken epileptic sensuality
of their wings. The sweat crawling on my skin.

When the hours give out between the sheets
I can see their frantic shadows walk the walls
and gather in heaps. I can't sleep.


Today, I will abstain.
Allow me disloyalty, I'll allow you the same.
I will abstain from tooth and claw,
or whispering, "We're so much more."
I need no more.
I will obey, I reek of change.
Do not let me seek a door
or suffer my excuses at the hold.
I need no more.
I will suspend me in abeyance,
Depend on you, exude reliance
Whilst nurturing the end defiance.
Passive-aggression will make us compliant.
I'm here; I want to be your tyrant.
Whip to check we bleed
and bite. Abstain and watch the insects.


If I ever got a cupboard infested with moths,
I'd lock them in and leave them there,
and leave the flat for a few days.

Walking very carefully,
I'd mention the seething behind the doors
quite casually to friends.

And when I got home, I'd unlock the cupboard
face the dust and madness on their wings
and let them flop out and cover me.