Pour soft drinks into the ground and watch a forest of butterfly wings
descend—understory of veins and dust,
canopy torrential with scales, black and orange.
If only we could scale the topography of insomnia
with this sound, feel the beating wings prune the corollas petal-less,
the galaxies of calyxes wind-breached. Light reaches into each movement
and pulls out nectar. Silk button. Chrysalis. Sleep—
gourd from which tides pour. Each eddying leaf is a typhoon
sent to choke archipelagos into ghost cities. Over a town
that refused to drown, the sun and the moon seesaw.
Beside the playground, the girl who summons monsoons from us
with her eyelids twists the pull tab off a pop can
and flicks it into a field of puzzle grass.
By the three-rail fence, we were boys,
our passports to manhood stamped with a grass-stained savagery.
We once wove a cat o’ nine tails out of cattail
and whipped a snapping turtle for three hours until we dropped it
across his carapace. When I reached, he beaked a canyon
into my pinkie. In our classroom, you could spin the globe
and halt it with your fingertips—the hands we dug into continents,
the countries wriggling as if worms under pins,
our incontinent unconscious—we conjure new histories
to our palms. The besieged siege back. An eyelash falls.