We See Fireflies Our First Night in Chicago

A dozen flirt across the black
trunk of maple, rending

its shadow, little tears. You’d not
seen them before tonight, legends

from another country, silly monsters.
Their hot gold bellies dull

into the sky, fade slowly. I forgot
how the yellow swallows

all the darkness, phosphorescence
weaving across the night

cloth. We watch patterns ghost
in and out, secret

stories made of fire. Or
I’ve got it wrong: each flies

just for its own pleasure, that darting
need to gleam. These bits

of language are not meant
to mean.