“like the wings of millions of monarchs returned” /
The doctor finds it: a heartbeat's rapid flutter,
like the wings of millions of monarchs returned
again for the winter to the mountains of Mexico,
branch after branch awhir and rustling with butterflies'
long migration and rest. They've traveled hundreds
of miles after breeding, these black-and-rust Valentines,
these milkweed-fed tiger lilies of the Gulf Stream,
folding and unfolding their wings' powdered hinges.
And beneath the rolled seam of my skirt, the heart
pulses of a child, almost a child, I wasn't sure I could carry,
a wild corded bit of skin, teeth, and fists, waiting,
waiting, starting to turn, not belonging to me, but mine.
I don't know how far it traveled, or from where. Oh,
I wanted it abstractly, imagined opening myself to life
the way a glazier fits frames with panes of glass, letting
in light. But I couldn't envision these filaments catching.
Now, like a deaf woman given, for the first time,
hearing, I listen:
every cricket, every peony's slow cracking, every monarch
wing's and lash's flitter, every scrape of pen on paper, magnified.
Anya Krugovoy Silver is Assistant Professor of English and Interdisciplinary Studies First published in The Ninety-Third Name of God (Louisiana State University Press, 2010). Reprinted with permission.
Also in this IssueIssue 45 / March 31, 2016
- Editor's Note from March 31, 2016
Issue 45: The fun in naming, how pyrite changed the world, and why it’s fine that piratebush didn’t change much of anything. /
- Our First Mission Isn’t Finished
There’s plenty left to name in the sometimes silly, always vast field of taxonomy. /
- The Surprising Riches of Fool’s Gold
Pyrite, the stone rejected as an imposter, is the cornerstone of the modern world. /
- Let Us Now Praise Obscure, Useless Plants
God and I delight in piratebush like he delights in me. /
- Wonder on the Web
Issue 45: Links to amazing stuff.