Butterflies or moths, powdered wings atop
fluorescent lamps, or tungsten
either way, it always meant a visitation
from the after life

the elders would say,
“that is your grandfather”
“this is your grandmother”

i am staring at the moth
wide-eyed and scared
I remember asking my mother why
and she shrugged, with shoulders slumped
towards the boiling pot of water

I was a kid at 8, 9, or 7
and the moth had wings broad
like the neighbour’s shoulders
shielding the setting sun through
the wire-wrapped fence, speaking to
long shadows

i remember the old wives tale
and it never struck me odd
maybe because if ghosts came back as moths
or butterflies, i didn’t mind that much

it meant that grandfather had wings
whispering his memories, into the house
fluttering unspoken words,
maybe my parents were quietly
recollecting, from dusts
that fell off the wings

the fan whirs in the smouldering heat
of an equatorial, ancient summer
night. now the moth spreads its wings
guarding the tungsten lamp, wrapping
light. i blink

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