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.
when we free the garlic from the too-dense matt of winter mulch so it has enough room to breathe
spring air and extend its fingers and toes, and so do I now, both of us me and garlic sticking out our noses just a little bit farther to smell
walking home sloshing through puddles in dark green boots, seeing shades of light green dark green middle green poking out from all of the corners of the street and sidewalk and a pink child’s sunhat laying in the middle of the road
getting rained on.
the pink halo that I see from far away around a tree, and come to find is actually hundreds, thousands? of red flower buds blooming
on the maple
the way that the drops of rain cling to
white pine needles hanging
down like chandeliers
in the almost dusk
i light a small nub of palo santo holy wood that ive carried in this coat pocket for almost two years, (since buying it on a street corner in ecuador)
for occasions like this: wet and dripping and 40 degrees
when the changing of the seasons means there’s something to shed
whether its grief or a sloughing off of dead skin, the way that the ash trees slough off their outer bark as they get older and it doesn’t mean they’re dying
(even though they are dying) (from other things)
i watch the way the (holy) wood burns and the smoke swirls and I listen to the rain land on (holy) wood and ground
it is sunday and k takes out the taps
from the maple trees in our backyard and the one down at m’s house,
and brings all of the stuff inside for me to find later
in the dish drying rack, underneath all of the plates, rinsed of tree sap and
ready for storing again, marking the end
I learn that when an exoskeleton of a tarantula breaks, they (who’s they?) fix it
with super glue.
t tells us about the success of thursday night, the first rain just barely over 40 degrees, when more than 300 salamanders cross Henry Street, migrating from their winter homes to the vernal pools for the spring.
I host more than 20 people and 2 babies in my living room, and we all sit close together on cushions on the floor around low tables that we arranged in afternoon with ornate red and purple tablecloths and lots of small handmade bowls of ceremonial foods, for the holiday of Passover when we laugh and eat and remember to sing.
when i find the leaf that might be birch that is two shades of brown divided down the central stem with an arch of diamonds cut into it as if it were a paper-cut snowflake i made when i was seven,
and i hold it up to my eye to peer through the holes
and see the moon waxing
three quarters full
the black locust branches
when i place the leaf on the kitchen counter and ro picks it up and examines it for a while, says I got it! and puts the puzzle together
how the caterpillar – bug – insect – must have gnawed its way through the leafwhile it was still all curled up and small in the spring, and then the leaf grew
and changed color
so months later
i find it on the path
for me to look through to the moon
my listening to David Whyte speak
through the laptop speaker
from a youtube video,
is truncated by the strokes of my knife on the cutting board
slicing through a sweet potato
we shape ourselves to fit this world
and i pause to better hear
and by the world are shaped again
and even though i have never heard his voice before, i can hear my voice in his voice, and what he is saying sounds all too familiar because i
had been the one who recited his poem
for a small open mic, in a library overlooking a lake surrounded by white pines
just in the spring.