It is finally time.
The afternoon weather considerate,
warm enough for lace wings and a life outdoors.
When they feel the liberation of open air,
a rush of adrenaline sweeps through,
an invisible lattice of electricity.
The sunlight massaging their bodies with instinct,
they either take frenetic flight or they rush to the oranges,
A sudden ravenous hunger,
their long black tongues, phallic and searching
the lemon sunlight, the citrus juices, the candy breezes
flooding us all with sensual pleasure.
When it is time to say goodbye,
some leave without a glance,
confident in the pull of higher currents.
Others climb on us or wander close,
flying and returning,
wary of this big sky of freedom.
But one refuses to leave at all.
We name him Linger.
He sits on his orange slice drinking and drinking and drinking,
seemingly unmoved by any rush to change his status.
He graciously gives me time to admire him.
Golden green fuzz,
tiny hairs illuminated and vibrating in the light.
Brushed strokes of glitter moving over and around his body,
White Jackson Pollack spots dot his upper wings,
While five perfect black circles line his lower rims.
A thin proboscis acts as a hand lost, groping through the dark.
Large chameleon eyes bulge, uniform, incognito, hard to read.
Long after all the painted brothers and sisters have flown away,
we wonder if you will have the courage to leave.
I feel your fear of the unknown enmeshed in
the flesh of this moon orange, the closest thing you know to home.
So we pass him around for a while,
till attention spans wane, other things call, pressing,
and he keeps drinking with his insatiable thirst.
The bliss of the moment too full to burst
A strange act of wisdom (or maybe just terror),
this lingering, a flat out refusal to hurry.
What we would all like to do,
dawdle without urgency.
He finally flies away when no one else is looking.
After all of the anticipation, the waiting, the wondering,
he slips away in his own natural time
not one to need a fuss.