Like Insects at Dusk

Writer, performer and founding member of Bonneville Theater Company + South Brooklyn Poetry Club Lindsey Trout Hughes shares her second poem from her collection Diorama.

I spend evenings alone
with small children who trip through my wants, ask me to recite

the names and colors of what takes wing in North America. They move

in circles, recitations. They are making off with every cheek I’ve ever touched—
the feasting of birds
who know not what they take.

Once, I told you about life
at its happiest: you with our son in the grass, dusk, crickets and other music. Listen—

someone always has a story to tell
about the worst day of their lives, always will wait to tell it on the morning

of the baby shower:

how the air felt
in the garage that day, how no one noticed
the presence
of ice on the launch tower,

how the broken bicycle

had been lying
just so. I have never been able to hold you
close enough.

The children rise,

the children sleep. I document
which sorts of skins we shed and how many, how the children will step


our many
spent bodies in search
of the right music, the right night,

things past their glory, the robust hello.

This is what beauty reduces us to: tender captives to circular arrivals, steady partings, holy
shivering nights.

I wait for you

until dawn. The children
stir at my bliss,
my loneliness. Welcome home. They are singing in their sleep again.