The thistle butterflies near the glass collapse their weight collectively: they
close their wings
and it’s night again. It’s night with a scarlet flash of light sparking through
the window’s bones.
It only seems like summer here. Go softly into the sparse grasses
and ailing trees —
sumac, timothy, cocksfoot, oak — the stems and trunks camouflaging India
ink and eiderdown.
Then here again: to be. A simple verb for a complex state,
in the aftermath of doubt and crutch and die. We are, we are: the sudden
crisis undeterred. [End Page 19]
Be sorry once in a while, even when the jet’s contrails fall to vapor and quit
opposing what has been
and then what is. No one can follow you out of childhood where the butterflies
cloaking the wings, the bright cells caustic to the gray reflections, heavy doses
doubled in the glass. [End Page 20]
Margot Schilpp’s most recent book is Civil Twilight, published in 2012 by Carnegie Mellon University Press, which has also brought out her two previous books of poems: The World’s Last Night (2001) and Laws of My Nature (2005). Her work has appeared widely in literary magazines, including Cincinnati Review, Southern Review, Hotel Amerika, Gettysburg Review, and American Poetry Review. She lives in New Haven, Connecticut.