Butterfly

Thomas D. Reynolds


Where are the yellow wings
speckled with black,
the constantly searching antennae?

Tapping the lid with a thumb,
beating out some primitive ritual,
I knock him onto a dandelion stem,

quickly drop in the cotton ball
soaked with rubbing alcohol.
The process is slow, beautiful,

legs tensely gripping a leaf,
wings blinking ever more slowly
like a child drifting away in sleep.

The taste of death is on my tongue,
a bitter scent that briefly burns.
My hands catch the table

as the tool shop begins to contract,
becoming in the moments before wind
as small and confined as that jar.

Through the missing window pane,
I look out across dark trees,
remembering meadow and flowers,

raising my wings to brush the glass
so expansive as to caress all sides.
Then I prepare for his gentle grip.


Copyright © 2006 by Thomas D. Reynolds

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