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night time insects are full of wisdom if you gain insect ears

by Leopold Crow

xe stepped out onto the street, raising xeir face to the streetlights, every breath the edge of a storm.

"am I pretty underground?" xe asked the moths, "you can scream all you like down there." 

notice me. xe said, to no one at all. please. notice me. 

the moths are listening. 

it's a quiet road, 

it's a quiet road. 

a peppered moth flickers its old newspaper wings. 

sleep deprivation is a winner for those who want to have conversations with night time insects. 


second-hand hands, each already-used palm, threadbare, hoveringly pressed to xeir skin in an embrace of resignation. 

look, xe said, I know I was made to be undignified, too clumsy to be held by you

dignity and uselessness are two different things though; 

xe has xeir second-hand heart held in xeir second-hand palms, cradled.  

the teenage dream isn't all that, xe laughs, tracing xeir thumb from the aorta to the left ventricle. 

the moths are listening. 

they don't quite understand what xe means, but it's enough. 

it's a quiet road,


it's a quiet road. 

an elephant hawk-moth settled on the kerb next to xem, paper wings blinking gently. all green-gold and pink edging, just like the ones xeir grandfather caught in boxes. 

if xe gets tired enough, if the sleep deprivation edges too far into xeir vision, xe could almost convince xemself that there were eyes on the edges of its paper wings, blinking gently. all green-gold and pink edging. blink. blink. 


(how do you explain the fall of icarus to a moth drawn to a flame? how could xe have known they made xem to be the moth and the match?) 

night time insects are full of wisdom if you gain insect ears. 

the moths have wisdom to tell but they won't speak. 

it's a quiet road, 

it's a quiet road.

Leopold Crow (he/they) is a young trans artist from England who can generally be found talking about angels and The Owl House, making bad (fantastic) puns or doodling all over his schoolwork. More of his work can be found at

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