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Absence by Kathleen Jones

We didn’t notice they had gone
until
leaving the door wide
on a hot night
the light
stole out
across the grass
without
attracting attention

and the glass
in our uncurtained windows
made a blazing trap
empty
of the June bugs
fluorescent missiles
hurling themselves
in from the dark

and furred moth wings
and Daddy Long-legs
and creeping beetles
only
a figment
in an old web or
a dusting of carapace
and lace wing
on the loft sill

and the swallows’ pouch
of mud and feathers
in the porch,
crumbling

and something
that might have been a swift
cutting an arc
dark against dark
above our heads
we could not know
so long
since we had seen them last.