c’est mon dada

i saw a butterfly
its wings damp-clung to its spindlebody
like folded linen and i said
“how do you learn to fly, little one?”

he raised his head- focusing thousands of lenses on my image–
and in a withered voice too old for his colors
he whispered “it’s how i was born”, and i nodded:
“but why do you only fly south, little one?”

he attempted to flutter his wings–
flapping sounds like clean laundry, minute (or is it laundry
that sounds like magnified wings, sweeping wind
where the sun cannot reach to dissipate it) and whistled
“it’s the direction in which my mind was made
(as opposed to up)”

i nodded–

— “but little one,” and here he blinked at my voice,
“why don’t you ever fly west, perhaps east,
north for a change? couldn’t you find warmth in any place,
so long as there was shelter?”

the butterly unfolded its wings fully then
and they were resplendent in utter pallor–
bright white sheets of cellcloth
sculpted to fit his sides;

he lifted himself after one two three attempts
with a grunt, fluttered slowly
testing his new ability to land slightly exhausted on my nose.
he looked me in the eye, with all his minieyes
all seriousness,
“just what direction do you fly, big one?
how do you know where to go?”

and i replied, “i don’t. my heart decides

and my body follows”

the butterfly scoffed, swept away in a huff
and found himself carried downward by a draft of rain


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