*for John Keel
where fearsome angels cower, the Mothman
glides soundlessly above illusion. The moon
is something that cannot fly, and you cannot see
the moon, below him, as he spreads his terrible wings
his red eyes become the billion-year bloat
of giant stars dying into the useless night of eyes,
yours, folding in to the unremarked of realms.
But when the Mothman
comes, clearly, those who witness him rise above
those realms of plastic and styrofoam. To be human
is to disappoint- so the Mothman never does.
He is the summit of unknown and unbroken expectations,
and the inquisitor who asks: “What is the fallen
in you?” He cannot understand the onlookers
of life, the unmoved at Jericho’s tumble.
Up the facades
of inemotion, righter than left, and three winks
from Magonia, he rises, now sounding mechanical,
as if an early helicopter chopping its way
to your comprehension, the full breadth of his wings
spreading, as if to say, “I, too, have form!”
Yet, he has no head, nor mouth, nor nose, nor ears,
just huge glowing eyes in a gray-brown skin.
Then he returns
to earth, leaving the now of your wonder,
as if to instruct the mortal of their poor restraint.
Gently, gently he dares to shaping the odors
of your dreams, disnebulous as your remembrance
of him, filling the emptiness that springtimes do,
at times, distilling your denial into a tear,
singular as a day, but ten times as salty.
Each night he must
dissolve in to a crane, an owl, or a bugaboo
of dismission that underlies comfortability.
But his is not there. He regards it a disease
that the earthbound must overcome. He does
it by looming over the American night, the consensus
universe that you construct. Sometimes, he watches
you as you whistle by the wonder he swallows whole.
If you catch him
looking at you, be very afraid. Not of him,
nor some grim intent, but because his eyes will curve
in to you- hold your eye up to his eye, it is all
blood- a deep placidity no human can share, nor bear,
cool and pure as the scent of a stark dry thing
the wet of an animal’s nose remembers, the mist
of a thunderhead’s calm, the drum of rain on umbrellas.