Out of the corner of my eye, I think it's a small envelope
caught in an upturn of wind. The fabled luna moth looks
wan and paper thin, mantle of night lost like a tarp unmoored
by driving rain. Last hours of fast living. On the side of my
ramshackle shed in the half-glow of late day, shadows
play. Sumac leaves flash back against the blank screen.
They dance like excess digits on a ledger, opposing the
calculating logic of nature that takes what it wishes—
intractable as late fees, hollow as an empty mailbox. I use
the unpaid bill on the kitchen table as a stretcher, its sturdy
edge carries her to an ocean of open grasses.
A buoy marks the spot where she last played when she went
under, off the shore of a Texas bay, the little girl last summer.
Taken to dark waters by tidal currents as the numbers descend
to zero. I look west. The cows in the pasture across from the
seawall maintain their muted graze, like stranded sailboats
silent under a complicit sky.