Sean Glatch


Mothman took my photograph in Southern Tennessee
so I fell in love with him.

That’s what I told myself, anyway, to get through
the soundless months

when an empty bed was jagged ice & I needed a body
to hold to, to thaw through. Mothman pointed his camera at me

& I loved his angles, his rule of thirds,
the way his camera cleaved my jawline

& washed me through with light. I was almost beautiful,
almost on fire—

was I bright enough to devour?—
& he was cryptic behind the camera lens, hirsute with little mysteries.

I wanted to be wanted & he wanted
a beam of light to chew through. Still,

in picture, my face prostrates itself
like a dream—

my hair curls into specters of light 
that the moth in him could devour. 

What happens to a body when its flame goes out?
Tell me how monsters keep warm in the winter,

hairless & cold-blooded, rubbing their wings
by the ash from a blaze of memories.

Mothman gripped my knee on Broadway
& my flesh sparked like a secret. Mothman pulled

the light from my body
& I was numb again, huddled

around the matchsticks
of a flame I couldn’t tame.

I don’t blame Mothman for his hunger,
but I set myself on fire

to be something worth wanting,
now I’m unlit ashes in his memory.

I was 19, teetering on the brinks
of manhood & monstrosity, & I wondered

whom Mothman could love more:
the boy or the beast?

Sean Glatch is a queer poet, storyteller, and screenwriter in New York City. His work has appeared in Milk Press, 8Poems, The Poetry Annals, Rising Phoenix Press, on local TV, and elsewhere. Sean currently runs, the oldest writing school on the internet. When he’s not writing, which is often, he thinks he should be writing.