mariposa

blood in the back of the throat

taking the long way home

isn’t that just how the thing goes

slamming brakes for a swallowtail butterfly

yellow wings beckoning for a better past

losing, inevitably, scraping knees and knuckles

against pavement boiling with sunshine,

rays and beams never meant to have

holding a book too closely against the chest

wouldn’t you know, that beetle baby isn’t dead

weaving legs and thorax for a better time

a better time, I keep saying, came before bipeds

make me six-legged, beautifully winged, antennaed

give me a straw mouth, radiant eyes, seasonal life

so I may leave with the best of em

leave while the radiation is still tolerable

make me innocent

before

before that morning on the steps

clutching book to chest, shield against 

love, but tell me, how it’s supposed to feel

tired of watching, haunting, eyes of the dying

scrubbing guts from floors from windshields

what’s the difference between chitin and flesh?

not enough for pesticides to discriminate

sealing memories away in melodies

time capsule, time travel, time shatter

make me six-legged, color my wings bubblegum pink

for all the children I’ve lost

ain’t that just how this thing goes

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