Richard Schiffman (bio)

The eye on a moth’s wing
stares down the sun.
Don’t speak to me of storms.
Be like that eye: small and single,
and do not blink.

Do you think that’s foolish?
You who know all about solar flares.
You who half expect the lizard sun
to flick its tongue
and snag some loafing planet.

Your eyes are always scanning
for trouble. Can you close them?
Can you paint a decoy on your sleeve
and flutter here and there
without thought of dying stars,

or the latest hurricane, whose eye
swirls around your own?
That’s right—paint an eye.
Make it fierce, make it bloody.
The reeling world will orbit.

Then go about your business
drifting from meadow to meadow.
Even the birds won’t touch you.
Their mother’s made them promise never
to eat anything that was staring at them.

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