A cloud passes over you and I forget the sun; it comes back and you revive, a state of wonder. Luminosity and complete collapse, tumbling down onto the path but usually able to get up again. You are like a shadow-being, one from the myth, which has slipped with the worms into their cocoons, sleep spun around you in gossamer but sturdy threads, but here you are, gesturing of flight again. Behaviorism, they say, posits that if we want to believe, we act like we believe and eventually we will. If we act ritualistic, we become ritual. If we act like we have all the time in the world. The creek in spring is gathering its chorus, a lot of by-hand shorthand and hourly touch. You say: we remember people by the feeling we once felt for them. Intermediate creatures, remnants left of wind, much is lost off the edge of our dreams. Like the swallowtail in February you pulled from the snow, still soaked in its supernatural beams. Insect tales: we make them up as we enter them, blue eyespots on the wings, blue continuous all around the outer margins. Lemon yellow and horizontal, and much like birds.
Melissa Kwasny is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Pictograph (2015) and The Nine Senses (2011), both from Milkweed Editions. Her collection of essays, Earth Recitals: Essays on Image and Vision, was published by Lynx House Press in 2013. She is also the editor of Toward the Open Field: Poets on the Art of Poetry 1800-1950 (Wesleyan 2004) and co-editor with M.L. Smoker of an anthology of poetry in defense of human rights, I Go to the Ruined Place (Lost Horse 2009).