The pulling power of electric light


As soon as the light had gone from the day
swarms flew to the bulb. Even the dimmest
     drew them in -
it pulled them to a primal sun
that singed them to the core.

Lying there in your flimsy dress
there was no line of resistance.
You heard the sound of men on board;
the enlivened commotion of scorched moths
colliding with the snare. In the dream
they were coming at you like lepidoptera
lifting out of the mist. Nothing
would kill this torture. So you held on,
blinded by the heat of the moment -
the relentless, hard-edged glare
until the men shut off the beam;
everything dying to an idle gleam -

how easy it is to burn.


Translated by Ioana Vîlcu