it chose this spectacle

a feast of homemade pasta in three shapes and three sauces with three bowls of salad and two toppings of cheeses on the counter.

the cecropia moth is still in its cocoon, taped to a stick, inside its wire mesh cage in between all of the pastas on the counter.

twelve of us with plates and forks and one bowl (me) I like eating out of bowls especially if I made the bowl, and now I helped make the pasta so that’s double homemade.

we sit on the deck in candle light and eat the three kinds of pasta in three shapes with three sauces, and for a minute e hula hoops in the corner which is dangerous because the deck isn’t very large and everyone leans away from the fast moving circles and makes lots of whoop whoop sounds.

later after eating i am giving e a tour of the upstairs because she had never been, until they start shouting ELLENA from downstairs and so we run to see everyone collected around the wire mesh cage on the counter.

is it called moth hatching? what it did. slip its way out of a small opening in the cocoon, without even making a rip, now letting its giant wings dry. born. the moth is big (six inch wingspan) and with crescent moons on the wings, red and black and white and grey. cecropia, named after a king. and I explain this to the twelve people- who it is, and what is it doing, and how did I get it, and what am I going to do now,

after a few minutes i carry the cage with the moth –now a moth- clinging to the mesh, out onto the deck.

everyone follows me outside again because it is exciting, (it is the largest moth native to north america) (it is beautiful) and we sing a song about going out into the dark, because some of us know the song, and some of us want ceremony, and none of us have ever seen this kind of moth before, to honor it for its time here, where it might go, and how special that it chose this spectacle of a night of three kinds of pastas in three shapes with three sauces to come into the world in this form.

from up to a mile away

I check up on the cocoon of a cecropia moth that I taped to a stick, propped inside a mesh wire box on my counter,

due date may 21s I wrote on the side of the box in black sharpie, just so that everyone would know when we were expecting.

cecropia moths Hyalophora cecropia , named for Cecrops, king of Attica, are the largest moth native to north America, with wingspans of six inches or more. Their cocoons are large, brown and leathery looking with a golden shiny hue if you catch it in a certain light. c says that the moth will emerge from the top of the cocoon. I am waiting.

cecropia moths don’t have working mouth parts or a digestive system. they live for about 2 weeks. they mate and lay eggs. from photographs i can tell the female from the male by the differences in their antennae. the male moth has bigger broader antennae. they are so sensitive to the scent of the female moth that they can sense her pheromones from up to a mile away.