Addiction by Kay Krattli


by Kay Krattli

A pale moth beats against the window
where I read in the weak saffron
glow of an old lamp. Night presses
on her milky wings.

Desperately she seeks the light,
hitting the window repeatedly
repeatedly with small taps,
a series of self-inflicted body blows.

She is resolute.

I turn off the lamp and she goes,
condemned to circle the street light
in infinite orbits until dawn lets her sleep
swaying on the milkweed.

I watch her from my darkness,
her life come down to one thing,
a love of light so strong its name is death.

My wanting you is like that, a steady
scarlet pulse impervious to reason
that tightens like a spring and flings
me toward the fire that is us.

So I am not the one to tell her to stop,
deny the urge beneath her nondescript
wings crying to be released.

Even if my desire ends in nothing
except the compulsion to continue,
I can not give you up, and either way
I self-destruct.


Kay Krattli grew up on the prairies of North Dakota and the lakes of Minnesota. She was an editor and writer of academic publications at UCLA and a middle school teacher. She lives in Carmel, California, a supportive environment for writers since the days of Robinson Jeffers. This is her first publication.

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  1. Beautiful, but sad ! Imagery so clear!!

  2. Well-done Wow, Kay! You reached, recognized, revealed crevice folds palpitating unfathomable attachments depths.

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