1 Flight and only flight is a delicately orchestrated
irrational response to a moth.
2 To unpack a fear of moths (mottephobia)
is to open a pandora’s voice box of rumor and legend.
While performing an aria from Handel’s Messiah,
a moth flew into a soprano’s mouth.
“I know that my Redeemer liveth,” she sangeth, and fished the moth out.
3 All breath stops for moths.
To live within moth-spinning windows is to live under pupal arrest.
To become unfettered from the tyranny of flutter
necessitates deft intervention of pickle jar and pluck.
4 Moth-eaten from the 14c.
A nocturnal devouring.
A hankering for knits on hangers.
5 Nits, gnats, an etymon of moth is midge.
A collision of no-see-um and no escapin’.
6 Also see maggot,
the absurdity of flesh,
the fragile feelers.
7 The reciprocal duties of hospitality are not lost on a moth.
Take the populous poplar, a popular host—
the spotted tussock moth caterpillar feasts all season
and where there were leaves leaves lace, a brocade of moonlight.
8 Fall is to summer as pupa is to larva.
Dormancy is the season between winter and willow.
9 Ditto the calendar of moths.
Buck moth after Juno.
Half-wing and full Luna.
10 Moth wings write the fingers with graphite.
Unearthly grease DNAs the moth’s release into night.
Fool’s gold dust-shimmer.
The rust of decaying fabric.
11 The original title of Virginia Woolf’s The Waves was The Moths.
While moth-hunting is best done under a full moon,
the illumination required to write a book of great worth
is inversely proportional to that required to trap a moth.