James B. Nicola
Moth and Flame
The random danger in the way it glows
in tongues of light, fingers of heat, or both,
makes any flame attractive to the moth.
Or that he knows
how easy it is to avoid its sting:
Day creatures do it all the time. But I,
smitten and nocturnal, could only fly
into the thing
that's no thing, can't be held, only contained.
Now, like the daisy which some youth, to settle
his aching, has plucked free of every petal,
I'm wingless and
howl nightly warnings upward at the sky
unheard by other moth men winging by.
James B. Nicola has had 300 poems published in periodicals including Atlanta Review, Tar River, Texas Review, Lyric, and Nimrod. A Yale grad and stage director by profession, his book Playing the Audience won a Choice Award. As a poet, he also won the Dana Literary Award and a People's Choice award (from Storyteller); was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Rhysling Award; and was featured poet at New Formalist. His children's musical Chimes: A Christmas Vaudeville premiered in Fairbanks, Alaska-with Santa Claus in attendance opening night.