I feel like a tall shadow, a penumbra
    but my spirit totem is a firefly;

a firefly timing a spackle of light, replacing in snatches
                                      what remains of the goddamn diminishing
  sun.

          A firefly fading—and finding itself caught in its own strobe-like
                                understanding, blinking in and out of some half-lucid world; a firefly

                                                                that lit, only wishes to ascend 
in a surge of semaphore, echoing signals to venture its own transitory 
      credos in light—first one, then another.        A penumbra 

                    that asks 

          “What is this,
    if not the cadence of grace?”   A firefly revelation—(I remember, as
              I stumbled in the dark, set back upon a heel.)

    plundered
                                                at the behest of a child
            bound to prevail and then stand 
                            fool arms flailing, flaunting their daub of destiny in a jar,

                                                                                  for that  moment like a drunk
                  fulfilled. 



    I have scanned 
                    the enclosure, I am trying to filter through glass
to rasp a quickening

                                                                                    a last clear flash 
                                                                                                      in ecstasy
      or agony 
                          from this crystalline cage—I am beginning 
                                                to suspect that to thrive 
              (by design or chance) is not 


what I had imagined. 


Dan Collins is an artist and poet grateful for the creative community of Dallas, Texas. His poetry has been published in Blue Mesa Review, Naugatuck River Review, The Boiler, Entropy, [Out of Nothing], Redivider, The New Guard volume VII, Thimble Lit Mag, White Rock Zine Machine, The Blue Moon Observer, and The Writer’s Garret Common Language Project. He is a cloudwerker and former curator for Pandora’s Box Poetry Showcase. He is co-owner and operator of Tree House Studio in old east Dallas.