Consider the moths throwing themselves into lampposts,
knocking the threshold of light: consider the fireflies'
green glow, clear as human need: consider the shining
poppies: consider the ghosts of his hands on the mirror:
as each light goes out, consider he, too, will sleep alone:
consider how these arms are empty in bed and know
when darkness presses a poppy's soft, pink folds,
it's not absence, for once, simply another kind of coupling.
Derrick Austin's poems have appeared in Vinyl, The Nervous Breakdown, Crab Orchard Review, storySouth, and other journals. He won the Editorial Prize Contest sponsored by Tidal Basin Review. He is pursuing an MFA in poetry at the University of Michigan.