In the 19th century, Henri Fabre tried to discover the mechanism by which           peacock moths, who live only two days, attract mates.┬áHe died, not knowing.
          She wears dark-red velvet
          with an ermine collar.
          A purple, white, and chestnut eye
          adorns the skirt of each wing.
          For two nights
          myriad pale shapes
          big as birds
          flutter around her cage.
          On the third,
          we find her dead
          in an empty room.
          In our candlelit
          single file
          up the stairs
          we too are ghosts.
          We too have no mouths.
LOLA HASKINS‘s work has appeared in The Atlantic, London Review of Books, Georgia Review, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. Her most recent book of poetry, The Grace to Leave (Anhinga, 2012), won a Florida book award.