I have my puffy terry cloth
bathrobe. My furry slippers, too.
I’ve nestled in them, havened from
the bug, the burg, the ballyhoo,
half-safe from crises yet to come,
content in my cocoon.
I feel I’ve morphed into a moth-
to-be—brown, furry, meek and gray,
a minion of the moon and night—
or butterfly—a thing of day
and popular flamboyancy
with colors bold and manners bright.
But I would just as soon,
if possible, be some of both,
as people were, once: pastel brown
as well as orange in the sky.
Plus bolder hues to paint the town
in splendor and humility;
for as both moth and butterfly
I’d serve both sun and moon.
But in a puff, my puffy youth
has passed. The times, of late remiss,
are making me, at last, decide
to make the metamorphosis—
risk all to be what I’m to be.
And I shall do it—go outside!
Perhaps this afternoon.
James B. Nicola is a returning contributor to Honeyguide Magazine. His seven full-length collections (2014-22) are Manhattan Plaza, Stage to Page, Wind in the Cave, Out of Nothing, Quickening, Fires of Heaven, and Turns & Twists (just out). His nonfiction book Playing the Audience won a Choice award.