CONJUNCTIONS: A Web Exclusive
The Lightning Field (V)
Carol Moldaw


Your mind unkinks itself like carded wool
as one foot steps in front of the other, circling
the five-foot figure-eight infinity loop,
painted on tarmac at the beach’s edge
in Bolinas. Soon, like a Himalayan ascetic,
you’ve walked yourself into a waking trance,
not breaking pace for any passerby
who cuts into your path, only asking a man
to move his motorcycle when he begins
to park it where one end of the eight loops back.
You’ve heard that if you soften a silkworm’s cocoon
with water, a continuous thread of silk
will unravel for a thousand yards, and think
the spool a spider draws from must be endlessly
self-renewing, her many spinnerets
producing thread as her design requires.
You keep walking. With each successive loop,
you are being unwound and reconfigured,
a skein of slub silk crisscrossed between thumb
and little finger of an outstretched palm.
Weavers call this bundling a butterfly.
On your way home, a brood of Monarchs hovers
over a field of purple milkweed, roosting.
But one moment you could put your finger on?
There were no omens, only unread signs.