Christy Crutchfield


Ghosts live in New England pantries
white wood hallways of shelves
canned goods without owners.
Here’s an early fruit moth
handsome in grainy light.
Doesn’t it make your eyes go blurry.
Here’s where they sleep, hanging
next to the molasses that’s been here
longer than any of us and which
we’re still sure we’ll find a use for.
This is how you kill them
in the morning, in their hanging sleep.
Magazines work best if you
close the pages around them.
Be careful. You will still find
larvae in the flour and oatmeal.
When a door is broken or the wine
goes missing, we blame the woman
who lived here before us
the one who left dry goods and lunch boxes.
As a child I touched moth wings
to gather purple dust on my fingers.
I was not allowed to do this to the living.
Once I saw a moth the size of a bird 2
white with green eyes and facial expressions.
I can’t verify that this actually happened.
If you offer the fruit moths a bowl
of wine and soap early enough
you will circumvent the infestation.
But then you will only see them floating.

Christy Crutchfield is the author of the novel How to Catch a Coyote (Publishing Genius). Her work has appeared in Mississippi Review, Salt Hill Journal, PANK, Juked, and others.