Butterflies are Cannibals
—from a sign at Davanni's Pizza listing little known facts.

For a long time
you considered beauty a thing
coiled up in your belly,
as though the act of becoming
was all this chewing meant.

One day, the pain 
grew too strong to bear
and you stopped moving
through the world, 
drew your shelter
about you like a cloak,
and retreated from view

Curled in your green womb
your body contorted through
days and nights of metamorphoses
glimpsed only in dreams.

What got you through,
if you'll remember,
was the certainty of the day
you'd wake to blazing light
and the world irrupting
in buds of green and gold.

You didn't know there'd be
this hollowness in your belly,
this urgent sense of being


© 2002 Steve Mueske.  All rights reserved. 


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