Napo 30

I made it! Pandemics seem like a good time to write, and I'm glad I muddled through, even and especially when I felt the malaise hit. The malaise hits today, but I wrote in response to a prompt anyway and told myself to work on this for at least an hour. I have the time. I have this gift. I will not always have such a precious thing as time.

Today's prompt was to write about something that returns. Fireflies return each summer. But maybe not so much. We can't take beauty and love and goodness for granted. Another thing I'm thinking about is periods. I might, instead of using the fireflies as a metaphor for love, use them as a metaphor for menstruation in future drafts or in a different poem.

Of Love and Fireflies

Once, I loved you like a firefly—
Remember how they used to make the fields

Effulgent like the midnight sky once was?
When this was orange fields and the heart

Grew wild like the monte? Remember how
Each year those lightning bugs returned?

Like clockwork. Like spring. Like the moon.
Like eskimo curlews. I knew there would always

Be time to watch their lightshow of love—
Their dance of life, so I went on to do

More important things like dishes.
And one by one, some darkness snuffed

That fire out—mistakes like leaving
the porch light on, the business

of city lights, or the giant flare of mistakes,
that bright elephant in the room

blaring light on all our imperfections.
Now, it’s night again. It’s summer.

Now, I’m sipping bourbon on the porch
Gazing into fields of emptiness,

Wondering what mountains I must move
To make those lightning bugs return to us.