Many butterfly enthusiasts are disgusted by moths. They love to question how the creatures are so dully disgusting.
The question nauseates me, whether disgust precludes love.
Moths must love other moths, and light; otherwise they’d let themselves die.
I read a headline that said “Disgusting-tasting moths don't bother trying to escape predators.”
I had been lying down. I felt ashamed.
How can something be unwanted by death?
Imagine you eradicate all the moths, and then there are more moths, always; that sounds terrifying.
You can always hear the chitter of their wings—carpet or pantry—blowing back from the future.
This reminds me of Patrick Devlin, Privy Council, opposed to the decriminalization of homosexuality in Britain. “It would disgust the average man,” he said, “a vice so abominable that its mere presence is an offense.”
I read a headline that said “Lord Devlin’s daughter claims [he] sexually abused her as a child.”
I wonder if this had anything to do with love.
I wonder if Patrick could hear the headline breathing back from the future;
if he felt shame.
Imagine shame with nobody to feel it. Here are ineradicable moths, to feel it.
You can see the shadow of their wings in the light a year or two before they arrive. The shadow lacks their strange fuzz and fraudulent eyes.
During a swell of disgust with the visual, I will imagine my eyes are fraudulent; I will flatten the sight into a shadow.
Two penumbras kiss, shamelessly, before the flashlight eradicates them.
The music is disgusting. I do not know what to do when I hear it.
What about something tactile, like the underside of a swan? the belly of a moth? two tongues, frictionless?
I remember the French psychoanalysts saying you can feel abjection at the skin that forms on warm milk. Abjection is when you cannot turn something into a shadow: shit, vomit, an open wound. Sodomy. Warm milk.
I, too, feel disgust with French psychoanalysts and their concepts. They are so cold to the touch.
“Imagine,” one ordered me during a session, and I suddenly could not.
Imagine moths with nobody to imagine them. With nobody to be disgusted by them.
Nolan Lee is a poet and short story writer from New Jersey. He has previously been published in indicia and ALOCASIA. He enjoys the work of Anne Carson.