That night we were in the fields watching the flickering lights. Fireflies drew paths in the air and if we were careful, we could get them to land in the palm of our hands. A quiet illumination, they glow like green embers. I had caught two in the cup of my hand, sometimes even three. Maybe four if I was steady enough. Otherwise, they would fly away altogether.

We were thinking about the light, the phosphorescent warmth that comes from a handful of fireflies. Warmth that we imagine we can hold. We bottled them up for keepsake and sat upon cold stones while crickets rattled through the hidden fields. We sat mesmerized, the bottle was faintly lit. The bottle we found among the thrushes.

Already, one had died, and lay at the foot of the bottle. It is dead, we uttered together. And we stared into the space between the glowing embers. We released the others, waiting as they each slowly found their way to the lip of the bottle. When the last had flown, we left the bottle somewhere in the grass.