the bug zapper at his grandmother’s house
always attracted a swarm of moths.
as a child, he could never wrap his mind around
that deliberate plunge,
the attraction to something that hurt
later he learned the truth lies in instinct.
moths are destined for the moon,
their true north,
and bug zappers are but a distraction along the way.
their eyes catch the shining light in the great dark
and it is there that they fly,
never knowing that they’ve missed their target
by a couple hundred thousand miles.
it is a melancholy senselessness,
the flight of moth to zapper.
they spend their lives in search of the moon
and when they fly into the light,
their entire body tells them this is right.
it is instinct;
it is their purpose;
it is what they were created for.
but zappers are pale imitations to their blessed gray goddess
and how painful must it be
if moths could comprehend such a heartbreaking picture
he thinks he’s come to know love in much the same way.
he loves that boy with what feels like instinct;
a life he is meant to know,
a path he was destined to follow.
he sees the moon in that boy’s eyes
and with his entire body, he knows this is right.
even through the blinding light.
even through the painful burn.
he loves him, but somedays he wonders,
if he’s headed north
or if everything they are
is built on a dollar store illusion.