All morning as I sit thinking of you
the Monarchs are passing. Seven stories up,
to the left of the river, they are making their way
south, their wings the dark red of your
hands like butchers’ hands, the raised
veins of their wings like your scars.
I could scarcely feel your massive rough
palms on me, your touch was so light,
the delicate chapped scrape of an insect’s leg
across my breast. No one had ever
touched me before. I didn’t know enough to
open my legs, but felt your thighs,
feathered with red-gold hairs opening
beween my legs like a
pair of wings.
The hinged print of my blood on your thighs—
a winged creature pinned there—
and then you left, as you were to leave
over and over, the butterflies moving
in masses past my window, floating
south to their transformation, crossing over
borders in the night, the diffuse blood-red
cloud of them, my body under yours,
the beauty and silence of the great migrations.