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Tainaron by Leena Krohn, 1998

Mail from another city

© Leena Krohn

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Tainaron - Mail from another city





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The cloaked moth - the twenty-fifth letter


Do you remember the entomologist who thought he saw a cloaked moth on the ground? He was delighted, and picked it up, only to realise that it was no more than a piece of rotten wood. Then, of course, he threw it away in disappointment.


I wonder why - already preparing to leave - he nevertheless crouched to seek once more the piece of branch he had thrown away. But how diligently and closely he had to examine it before he saw: it was a cloaked moth after all.


Tonight the earth carries the city steadily on its shoulders. Even the heavens are motionless, and the buildings have long roots. I confess: I have countless times been forced to return and fetch home what I have abandoned and thrown away as worthless. Other colours glimmer from beneath the camouflage coat, and who knows which of them is right.


When I open the curtain, I see a half-darkened street, and nothing is happening there, but in the emptiness which is not now fractured by steps the restlessness of the first step and the exhaustion of the last combine.


Tonight I see in the half-light as if it were broad daylight; I see so far and so clearly that I can make you out too, cloaked moth.


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