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.