It falls like a shadow, except
for the heat – I dream a fox
at my shoulder, his brush on my neck.
I dream of birds in the eaves
of my ribs, heart-startlers who shift
and stir. I can’t be certain the moth is real,
but I open my eyes to find it there,
a quickening that falters and lifts,
plinking at the cooling glass until
it jilts the darkness for my body’s glow.
The feverlight rising in slow
waves. The baked sheets drifting
to ash at a fingertip. Still the moth
settles and rests on my smouldering hip.
How still. How calm. Its hitching flight
fallen to a stop. A difference so vast
I must have dreamed it. That something
could be so flickerlight, so quick. That skin
could ever be as pale and cool as milk.
About the Author: Cheryl Pearson lives and writes in Manchester in the North West of England. Her poems have appeared in publications including The Guardian, Southword, The High Window, Under The Radar, Poetry NorthWest, Crannog and Envoi. She won first prize in the High Sheriff’s Cheshire Prize for Literature 2016, and third prize in Bare Fiction Magazine’s national poetry competition in the same year. She has been shortlisted for the York Literature Festival Prize and the Princemere Poetry Prize, and was nominated for a 2017 Pushcart Prize. Her first full poetry collection, “Oysterlight”, was published by Pindrop Press in March 2017.