Becoming a Lepidopterist

Zackary Medlin

First, circle your palms
around a dogwood tree.
Now squeeze. Strangle
loose every scaly leaf
until the moths that are
its petals unshutter their wings
and leave. If they should swirl
about you like a thousand
shrouds, die. If they do not,
then follow. Bring a net.
If a net is unavailable,
circle your palms around
a drop of the dizzied wind.
Take that moth upon your
tongue & grin. Should it thrash
itself against your teeth,
you are neither the sun
nor moon it navigates by,
keeping its body constantly
angled relative to their light.

Zackary Medlin's poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in The Pinch, The Adirondack Review and Paper Darts. He lives in Salt Lake City.

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