luna moths

alexis scott
12 min readJan 13, 2021

We saw a luna moth this morning (this morning at the beginning of our time, the three of us) when Josh had singled us out to go for a walk because there were three of us and because it was the beginning. We walked to what Josh said was his favorite place on the farm which was a small wooden bridge over a small brook and the three of us, four with Josh, the four of us sat down on the bridge and began talking and then Josh looked into the water and said, “Look!” (He said it just like that, in the middle of talking about the beginning and where we wanted to be by the end, he looked into the water and said, “Look!”) And when we looked there was a luna moth lying gracefully, belly-up on the water and its wings were fine as lace with patterns that looked like eyes. Our own eyes drew it in, this belly-up luna moth lying breathless on the water with its lace-like wings, and Josh told us (because he knows these things because of the time he has spent on the farm) how the luna moth only lives for ten days and we thought about that, or I did, and I thought about whether beauty was made to be fleeting and I thought about how much beauty I could hold if I had only ten days to hold it.

In April 2003, my grandmother dies. Everyone’s grandmother dies at one point or another, this is true. This grandmother, mine, was named Aline Goodman and she was my mother’s mother, is my mother’s mother (since she has never stopped being exactly that.) My younger sister and I are the only grandchildren Aline will know in her lifetime, and so she is our special Grandma. For us she has small suitcases of treasures tucked into corners of her one bedroom Manhattan apartment. For us she saves money so that when we visit for our one on one weekends, we can take a bus to the museum or to Lincoln Center or to Broadway.

In 2003 I am 21 and in college. I have cut my hair very short and I have finally slept with a woman but that was a year ago and I am figuring out what it all means. I have not told Aline yet about my sleeping with women, but I know that she will be okay because she is very adamant about things like transgender rights and voting democratically, and she has lived in New York for well over two decades now and she loves me fiercely as I am.

The day that my grandma dies, I am in a play at college and it is one of Federico Garcia Lorca’s “impossible” plays which are impossible perhaps on paper but embodied they are quite real. There is a swing center stage and a chalkboard on the back wall and all of us in the play wear many different costumes and…