Richard Lambert

The Secret of Flight


We drove out with the light in a box and placed it
in the centre of a field of long grass; then listened
to the thwack and tap
                                     of moths
against linen, the chirr of wings, and the tick
of the cooling engine. And no matter how far I
drive these snowy roads on nights like these,
no matter how many fox eyes gleam in the dark,
it’s the moths’ eyes that haunt me, their wings
teaching the secret of flight, opening and closing
like the leaves of a sacred book, or like palms
opening and closing as they mime such a book –
your palms, as pale as the linen round that box of light,
or like the light from the headlamps that hurt
my eyes, when I looked into them too long.

Richard Lambert‘s second collection The Nameless Places was published by Arc in 2017. He has had poems in the TLS, The Spectator, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry Review, PN Review, The Rialto, and the Forward Anthology.

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