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Can Souls Be Singed Forever

This piece was published in 2016 in Issue 2 of literary journal Halo, a UK publication that no longer exists. I've pasted the text here as they no longer have a website linking to the print publication

You see your eyes in the rear view mirror. Mirror. Signal. Manoeuvre. You know that you have limited time for movement.

You think back.

You watch the weeping birch tree that pours silver over the corner of the garden that you used to tend. You see caterpillars consider a nomadic life on its branches, observe them grow apart and become alone.

You think forward and stop. You think backwards and wonder about exoskeletons of you that may leave traces.

Before Day 1

The pupa rids itself of all moisture. It is empty of all but dry cries of warning that emit from its casing. The noises come from movement not from within.

Day 1

The Luna moth has tried on many colours in the before to become its green that clamours to be yellow. You are hypnotised by its shade that can never be fully known. Like you they start soft and climb away from others to find a safe space to harden their wings. They are common but seldom noticed. Their short life makes little acknowledged impact. The size of their wingspan is not proportionate to how well they are known and you feel privileged to both see and feel their movement sung in alarm.

Day 3

You sit opposite the house you used to live in, it is an exoskeleton of you that can neither be eaten nor disgorged. It is in darkness, as are you. Darkness is the preferred route of the Luna moth. It carries its own luminance. You no longer do.

Day 6

You sit in the car that you used to drive with nowhere to go. There is no navigator, only you. Your shadow escapes from the moon and is briefly alive with motion. You lie back and watch for night moths mating.

Day 7

Mirror. Signal. Manoeuvre. You lie back and fold the night around you. The screech begins again. The Luna moth is insistently, physically, alive on the dashboard. There are no mates here. It has no pupa to move and emit noises on its behalf. It has no mouth, no words and nor you think do you. The waking of the moth triggers a chain of activity. The car alarm shrieks louder than your last minutes panic. The Luna moth looks singed and eerie and aglow only with containment, unknowing that it will now soon die mate less in a human carrier with no air. You look in the mirror and hope that your soul is yellow green. There is no movement. No personal alarms for you. Only the waiting for the encompassing all of the contained running engine. You find the brief glow of life shared by you and the Luna moth in the rhythm of the alarm and change colour.

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