What crumbled from the book like flakes of old paper was a moth, somehow caught between dustjacket and cover.
There it got crushed against letters of the word “Beauty” impressed in the spine, so that the word BEAU was outlined (only backwards) in silver mothwing dust against the dustjacket.
The moth died into a word. The word was beautiful (in French). Utterly literal, this death; this beau, merely chance. But caught up in being human, how can I help but read it that way? [End Page 255]
William Wenthe, who teaches creative writing and modern poetry at Texas Tech University, is author of two collections of poems, Not Til We Are Lost (LSU Press) and Birds of Hoboken (Orchises Press, 1995Orchises Press, 2003).