I used to catch fireflies in mason jars.
The nights are still dark now,
but lit with a different kind of twinkling star,
nothing so close as those
cloud blanketed keep the heat in summer nights,
holding the sunset's light
as the mosquitoes came out to bite--
Me with my glass prison,
for the only hope I could see:
They'll die if you take them inside,
their black bodies shriveled up by morning.
You can only keep them in the liminal space
of a northeast backyard,
the sweat trickling down your ribs in the darkness,
each blink of them lighting up a different part of you,
but never showing the whole picture.
They're as far away as stars now.
It would take lifetimes for that light to reach me again,
but I still think about them,
wave my hand across the sky,
close my eyes and open
to see the fragility of those winking lights.
How many times before it's sunrise?