Fireflies

July 10, 1994|By BARBARA HURD

In July, a male firefly rises on pale wings

2 towards the nightsky she sweeps like a beacon,

mirroring his slow winks

and quick flashes of green,

pulling him to her, glow upon glow,

until gardens of green stems

, hang with double fairylamps.

Perhaps we were all once luminescent like that,

could summon with light whatever we longed for,

until something, consciousness maybe,

needed the light inside, drew it into our bodies,

left us opaque on the outside, desire raking the sky

' like unlit searchlight.

What comes down first is the opposite of light:

breath like a luciferase enzyme breaks down our skin,

* moves inside living cells,

leaves us pulpy in early morning dew grass

until at last a barely visible sheen

begins to glow inside

our bodies,

signaling, here, here.

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