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It includes the butterfly and the rat, the shit

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It includes the butterfly and the rat, the shit
drying to chalk, trees
falling at an angle, taking those moist
and buried rootballs with them

into deadly air. But someone will
tell you the butterfly's the happy ending
of every dirge-singing worm, the rat
a river rat come up from a shimmering depth,

the shit passed purely into scat one can read
for a source, the creature that shadowed it one
longish minute. And trees, of course they
wanted to fall. It was their time or something

equally sonorous. And wind too knows its
mindless little whirlpool's not for nothing, not
nothing—that pitch and rage stopped. How else
does the sparrow's neck break.

Source: Poetry (June 2008)

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This poem originally appeared in the June 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

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It includes the butterfly and the rat, the shit

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