In a Mimesis of moths, these swallowtails
fly lambent over water - all wings all head
and body. Thorax contraction, then sudden
wing-fluttering. There are two swallowtails
whose wings are dim and frail with age.
Tongues coil and uncoil licking the rests
of a halcyon nest.
A pupa whorls inside the cocoon hanging
like pears: tip and end of body twist like
Nautilus shells. Think fingerprints here,
think sea snake without its scales'
oily gleam of luminosity. Think cat on lap
or snail inside its shell. . .
Larva uncoils as cocoon dilates.
Putti-innocenct, a larva lies stock-still
beneath the leaves, a crawler whose trail behind
is only slime and blank.
The egg is less cream than milk-chroma
when it cracks open. Alcyone swathes