Margarita Tenser


so this icarus moth come in under jury rig, wings patched neat
in places, layer peel flapping others, clumsy stitch wrinkling others,
wind-worn, giddy-tired skeleton crew at the helm.

cupped hands a waystation, reaching clumsy for the flapping thing
with its alien colours and erratic trajectory. not expecting
to keep it. don’t they always go to the light?

and when it doesn’t, when its tatters are revealed
to be atrophic scars of uneven growth and inelegant repair,
stumbling late from the cocoon, scraping its jagged edges

and nothing burnt, no headlong barrel roll into the blazing hearts
of suns or stars or simulacra, of all things a cautious moth?
then pet things happen. boxes, saucers, cotton wool.

even, in a while, test flights – the flinching sailors
remembering their knots. their rough democracy
allowing finally the concept of a home base

but brandishing maps. after all, there remain
things to see. a galaxy of burning things
rocketing from one bright infinity to another.

this cannot be a new cocoon. that’s not
what moths are for.

Margarita Tenser is an Australian writer and poet who lives with their life-partner, housemates, madness and one cat. Their work has been published in Strange Horizons, Meniscus, Breath & Shadow and Stone Telling, among others. You can find their blog at