dedication :: jim natal

This is to poems that get
lost in the dark,

poems that flutter
away, white moths
just out of reach,
camoflaged against
rough plaster of
bedroom ceiling,
little bumps and
patterns of branches
cast by light from streetlamps,
neighbors’ windows,
sometimes the

In that criss-crossed and
curtained glow
you only see them
when they move.
To grab is
to crush and keep
them earthbound, snow
of bitter wing dust on
your hands and

fine as the powder of poems
lost in time, slipped
in among old papers
tossed away, whispers
that now annoy the hair on
the back of your head like a
strand of spider web
you brushed
one high school night,
still sticky with the first
line of your
first poem, caught,
then struggling free:

“Trees and shadows of

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