A firefly blinked into existence, drew half a word in the air. Then gone. A black bug secret in the night. Such a strange little guy. It materialized, visible to human eyes for brief moments, and then it disappeared. But it got its name from its fake time, people time, when in fact most of its business went on when people couldn't see. Its true life was invisible to us but we called it firefly after its fractions. Knowable and fixed for a few seconds, sharing a short segment of its message before it continued on its real mission, unknowable in its true self and course, outside of reach. It was a bad name because it was incomplete-- both parts were true, the bright and the dark, the one we could see and the other one we couldn't. It was both.
From Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead