Soft, almost unseeing sentinels,
they wait without purpose on walls,
in cupboards, ready to be disembodied,
like candle flames, by a finger-pinch.

As cupped hands open to outer air,
they fidget, cling – do they know
how to be saved? Some prefer
to grow brittle on curtains, silk fringes.

Yet, multiplying as if by thought,
they have their future strategies:
pupae wreathed inside lids, buff wrigglers
chiselling rice to webbed clumps.

Most are radiantly nondescript,
somewhere between a sheen
and a colour; others, bark paintings:
a geometric opulence.

Tonight, one climbs the shadow
of the lamp, flirts with
the twisted gold nerve that draws
dull mysteries to fulfilment.