Consider cydia deshaisiana,
how her first task, on birth, is to gnaw her way
into a womb. The womb closes:
the cool darkness is grateful.
There she begins to weave,
using hooks on her anal
and four hind abdominal prolegs,
binding herself within.
Only a sudden warmth
will make her spasm, blindly,
seeking a change, a coolness,
a shadow she can only imagine as the inverse
of her first dread, the sun. And
with luck, say, her shudders, kicking at the walls
at whatever cost, may roll her
to a damp and cool place.
What makes her begin to wonder,
to dream about the outside? What
revolution, what reversal of polarity,
takes possession of her mind?
Carefully, she chews a hole
plugging it at once with silk.
She is not ready to leave, but
she knows that when grown to a moth
she will have no jaws.
The day comes
when she craves the light
and she pushes through the silken door.
She will live only a few days, outside:
silver gray, pattern-winged,
fragile and confused.
She has just one more yearning:
to find a place like home,
to pump her swollen belly free,
and to lay her wondering, jawless chin
on a sweetly-scented rind.