It is a clear plastic box, with a yellow grated top
to let the air in. He traps a moth but cannot leave
it alone. He drops a stone, a clod of dirt, a single
blade of grass. He gives the whole thing a shake,
tosses it back and forth between tiny pink hands.
He takes it by the wings, dusty and dry between
his fingers. He peers into its dull and black eyes.
The moth does not look back and I cannot look
at either of them. He has kept us as well: mother
and father, to look closely into our eyes, to paw
and pick off our clothes, to examine each thorax,
abdomen, skull and recent distant metamorphosis.
We beat on the walls until our hands become too
soggy and bruised to continue. Exhausted, we sit
in front of windows as the sky darkens and fireflies
begin to dance beneath the maples. I desperately
search the house. He will want a jar. He will want
holes punched into the lid. He will want forceps.