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Lane Chasek

Moth Watching

I once tried sleeping on the sidewalk, drunk

and reluctant to let the night slip from me,

just to show mom I didn’t care anymore,

that I needed no roof or name.

                        I let myself get kicked

out of the house when I could—never sure

what to make of apologies back then,

others’ or my own.

And they say each conversation with your parents gets shorter

until we only have ourselves to talk to,

until the arguments are all we remember,

attention spans like moths hitting streetlights— 

A moth beat its everything against a streetlight

and the moon, what was left of the moon—male moon,

female moon, every moon between, and the sun

and all her children; moth body, moth soul, moth life,

moth will and intellect pitted against a lightsource

which offered no shadow, no warmth, just bruising

and the sound of bruising.

And I thought

            I haven’t wasted my life


                                    there’s this moth and there’s light and here’s

me, and the concrete is still warm, still breathing day

            into my back and legs

                        and I figured

                                                this is alright.

Lane Chasek is a freelance writer and editor who currently lives in eastern Nebraska with their partner, Regan. Their work has appeared in or is forthcoming in Broke Bohemian, Jokes Review, Lincoln Underground, North Dakota Quarterly, Paragon, Plainsongs Review, Sheila-Na-Gig, and others. They were the winner of both the 2016 and 2017 Laurus Poetry Prize and their essay "Becoming Vegan in Western Nebraska" was the featured nonfiction piece in the anthology Voices of Nebraska: Diverse Places, Diverse Peoples (University of Nebraska Press, 2016). Their first nonfiction book, Hugo Ball and the Fate of the Universe, is forthcoming from Jokes Review Press.

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