Mothman took my photograph in Southern Tennessee
so I fell in love with him.
That’s what I told myself, anyway, to get through
the soundless months
when an empty bed was jagged ice & I needed a body
to hold to, to thaw through. Mothman pointed his camera at me
& I loved his angles, his rule of thirds,
the way his camera cleaved my jawline
& washed me through with light. I was almost beautiful,
almost on fire—
was I bright enough to devour?—
& he was cryptic behind the camera lens, hirsute with little mysteries.
I wanted to be wanted & he wanted
a beam of light to chew through.
Still, in picture, my face prostrates itself
like a dream—
my hair curls into specters of light
that the moth in him could devour.
What happens to a body when its flame goes out?
Tell me how monsters keep warm in the winter,
Hairless & cold-blooded, rubbing their wings
by the ash from a blaze of memories.
Mothman gripped my knee on Broadway
& my flesh sparked like a secret. Mothman pulled
the light from my body
& I was numb again, another monster in the closet.
I don’t blame Mothman for his hunger,
but I set myself on fire
just to be something worth wanting,
now I’m unlit ashes in his memory.
I was 19, teetering on the brinks
of manhood & monstrosity, & I wondered
whom Mothman could love more:
the boy or the beast?
Sean Glatch is a poet, editor, and educator from Milwaukee, WI. His poetry has been featured in 8 Poems, L’Ephemere Review, Rising Phoenix Press, and The Poetry Annals. Sean is a Katherine Keller fellow, a Best of the Net nominee, and the former Editor-in-Chief of The Cypress Dome at the University of Central Florida. He’s probably thinking about his next cup of coffee.