To know this crepuscular

family of moths, commonly

occurring in vegetal regions,

even inhospitable tundra

far north, identify its green

and brown or yellowish

larvae, spottable everywhere

measuring ordinary life

by means of looping somites:

Surely the student has seen

clasped to a twig or across

an entry in her field guide

one such modest worm,

inching toward winged destiny.




Never having believed in God,

what will become of your bare-bones frame,

coiled in rigor mortis

like a deformed steeple

at the peak of a garbage heap?


Previous addresses, those

games of musical chairs

or hallelujah choruses

can’t save you now, nor can the sun,

holy and high over the transfer station.




At the end of this lane,

a plaster Virgin tilts

into the weeds. She bestows

diagonal blessings

upon a vinyl-side dwelling,

her half shell within earshot

of men fowl hunting, behind

the home’s foreclosure sign.

—Pauline Uchmanowicz

Published in the 2012-03-09 issue: View Contents
Pauline Uchmanowicz is associate professor of poetry at SUNY New Paltz, and the author of two chapbooks of poetry: Sand & Traffic (2004) and Inchworm Season (2010).
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