Rosalie Moffett

Up early for the long drive home, I become

Up early for the long drive home, I become

             aware of the orb-weavers’ webs

built between parallel power lines—



             they gleam in the streetlamp, beaded

with what looks like their own tiny orb-lights, solar systems

             strung around the flickering white.



All those moths roving dumbly towards the ersatz

             moon, their navigation

gummed up with the modern world, and the spiders,



             feasting, clinging between

the spiral-bound wires, the electricity—and me,

             pre-coffee, dumbstruck in the brown-dark.



Human voltage is everything. It’s our hurt, travelling

             to the brain, it’s our heart, in fear

quickening its pace. This electricity, lineless,



             jumps cell to cell—

each cell, like a castle, flings up its portcullis, potassium

             gets out, sodium gets in,



and this mix creates a charge that blasts ajar

             the next door, chain reaction

that takes the spark where it needs to go.



             I need to understand this, standing

under the webs between the wires, because I can see her

             better if I can see into her:



electricity gone berserk, wrong turns

             tugging her body

into its spasms, rickety system flashing



             with pain and information. I’m prone

to think of it among the still shapes of early morning,

             the spiders in their jeweled



territories, the power lines taking electricity to the TVs,

             the toasters and coffee makers, everything

about to wake up.



“Up early for the long drive home, I become” first appeared in 32 Poems.