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before the invention of electric light
insects had no place to gather
in search of hope and illumination
nowhere but volcanoes and lightning strikes

then campfires and candles
tended in the night by brutes
who had barely evolved

who never conquered the sky
until 400 million years too late
to wrest the crown from that devonian pilot

the first animal to fly
the first to discover two wings
carried her farther than six legs ever could

after 80 million years of crawling
and evolving from her crustacean roots
living without the scent of flowers
or primates for millions more

remember her under your porch lights
in your desolate parking lots at 3 a.m.
in your isolated rooms where sunlight
never penetrates

remember her millennia of yearning
for a place to swarm and burn completely
and in that brief flash before dying
tell an ancient story written with buzzing wings

outlined with keratinous hairs
split into paragraphs like segmented carapaces
stories you could never understand
until you too had lived in darkness