The sun is running out to me, like a
glinting, rolling skin across salt water;
it’s clear now, thousands of blades, shimmering.
The books on my shelves, whiten under this brilliance.
All greys now, their spines, like bones on the beach.

On stones, I draw red — like blood — wanderer strokes.
Under the warmth of the lamp, I can smell
the taste of the pigment percolating, rich
and spilling out, viscous and
congealed; sweetened, under heat.

In the corner of my eye,
an insect shadow flutters. And there’s
a flying thing, like a mayfly,
even in the depth of winter;
it’s out spinning, gamboling in light.

My brush traces the red, in rules
on stone, licking the grainy
bouncing, surface irregular.
And, it is rich, like blood, brilliant
in contrast. Mayfly has found it, too.

I’ve tried to extricate this
crimson insect from the colorbowl,
daubed like blood butter.
It is covered in it, Red Mayfly
now tracing its own calligraphy.

It’s struggling a writhing
transition, in death: a tracery.
And I believe that writing sacred,
the art of it, though forgotten —
was destined for that, a soul translator.

Rest in peace, little calligrapher,
your last strokes, Red Mayfly.

Tim Girvin