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"Vincent at Saint-Remy"

by Marc MacNair


IV.    Spectre (Death's Head Moth)

Life would not be reduced

to an endless wait for events,

it often found growth

in the measurement of flowers

by the change in their scent,

the observation of a field,

the notice that it allowed

its sweet smell to be carried

by the same breeze which forced

the moth to open its wings

as a balance


The moment could be preserved,

if you were only willing

to pick a few of the flowers,

arrange them with clippings of grass,

and pin the moths wings open,

studying it, getting the details

correct, and putting it to linen

or canvas, with every facet

flawlessly mimicked;

the flowers lifeless,

the moth dead


How curious the way

the living diorama allowed

itself to be imprinted

in your sketch without covering

your hands with blood,

appearing virtually dead, but

then resurrected, as if you replanted

the flowers , willed the grass

to grow, released the wings

of the moth and breathed

new life into it with

its gratitude

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