Smuggling Butterflies

Clyde Kessler, poet and naturalist, lives in Radford, VA with his wife Kendall and their son Alan. Several years ago they added an art studio to their home and named it Towhee Hill. His latest book of poems, Fiddling at Midnight’s Farmhouse (Cedar Creek Publishing), was illustrated by his wife, Kendall Kessler.


Smuggling Butterflies

Sunrise is smuggling butterflies.
I try to imagine the smuggler saying:
Hola, I am a smuggler, I smuggle morphos
and mimic-whites. I feel their rainbow wings
stretching the sky. You want to buy?

Smuggling is much subtler, wrapped
in God, in science, in money, in jungle trees.
I see inside the trunk of a car, chrysalids
that wriggle miles of darkness, inside, outside.

This one yellow chrysalid is rare, dried up,
knotted to a twig. Looks most like an alien
pooling its hate. Shimmies like the rind
of a sliced lemon, at the edge of a cook-fire.

Noon sun. I walk around, pretend my body
has changed almost like Kafka’s man-insect.
I flutter across Honduras. I whisper to clouds.
I glide across a river, hungering, migrating.
There is no money for my faceted eyes.

2 thoughts on “Smuggling Butterflies

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