By Patricia Lee Sharpe
have predicted this.
Then winter came.
into a stack of sweaters
for a favorite, a mossy green cashmere,
unfolded it, laid it out, made to put it on and saw
as if it hadn’t already consumed
to give it cramps
so many holes
the most dedicated expert weaver
couldn’t make this very pricey sweater
I liked so much
a plum merino,
a dove gray alpaca,
an itchily ordinary pink wool turtleneck,
the first two equally gnawed at,
the latter hardly touched.
Moth larvae have good taste.
Disaster unblocks memory.
There had indeed been
a nondescript tan moth
fluttering boldly around one day,
its wings going so fast it had the look
of a bit of fuzz.
I tried to catch it. It got away.
Maybe it wasn’t a moth.
Most probably it was nothing at all
to worry about.
Precedent established, I shrugged off
the next one, too, or almost,
in another room, where—I can’t believe
I didn’t focus on this—I’d stashed some modest
Orientals, rolled up, out of the way,
in a dark closet corner,
come to think of it,
that second moth was headed
when I made one careless futile attempt
to smash it
between my palms.
The rugs didn’t have holes
so much as squiggly
in the nap.
How nice! Sculpted carpets.
And very chic, in a way.
a touch of history,
which I’ll embroider a bit,
as carpet sellers usually do,
and be rid of them.
Meanwhile, the house stinks
of the mothballs I deluded myself into not
needing, a double dose, to be extra
sure, as if I could ever
for the loss.