Now that the theoretical physicist slash cosmologist
has explained to me, has laid out in clean
even rows of logic
how every atom in my body
arrived from a star, a star
that blasted apart,
and the atoms of my left hand
originated from a different sun
than my right,
I can shine. I can go dark
recalling how my grandfather made
the vertical blinds rattle
when he shoved
my grandmother into them.
Startled in the yard, I turned to that sound,
from the flower bed my eyes were held by
the swaying blinds. It took a while for each
to line up
perfectly straight again, to tell myself
she slipped. Only then could I
return to stalking the butterflies.
My right hand was quick: reach and pinch.
I had so many soft wings that summer
between my thumb and index, so many of them
skewered on cactus needles.
I was a kid. I was cruel slash gentle.
He was cruel slash gentle.
He had witnessed my destroying
and I saw
across his creased face
empathy for them.
After his scolding I placed one dead one
inside the white envelope of a flower.
Under the sun it glowed. Under the moon,