Alexander Long

Fireflies at Midnight

A cool June night in the hammock, I spill some wine down your
shirt, you bite my neck, and as we fumble onto our backs grabbing
and twitching, a flicker above us, another, then another, but it’s not
just that God-blown glass called Cassiopeia, her swaying W on
Milky Way’s fringe; no, it’s a school of fireflies scattering their
perfect affection, a pearl necklace of couplings to come, a flash of
flesh of what we could be, what we might call breathless or ecstasy or
beauty; it mystifies science because what they don't understand is
that beauty is not something to be solved but entered, like your
green eyes widening, your mouth opening with the first word of a
new day borne from this light dropped unconditionally, without
which we‘d be lost, which we are—and are not—swaying in our
newfound lightness.

"Fireflies at Midnight" appears in Light Here, Light There (C & R Press, 2009).