What is the white butterfly
that leaves the debris unharmed?
Does he have a name like the phoenix?
Does he carry olive branches
miles to shore or survive the black plague
or hide on trees during industrial revolution?
Does he pick through the rocks and rubble
one thin six-feet landing at a time
finding his wings tumultuous and rapid,
and although tiresome, does he
fly up to green leaves and eat,
eat and eat and then mimic longingly
the creature at the tip of the child’s gaze
with broad strokes and colors
thinning and dying with the sun,
hoping maybe I have made it to the moon
where ash colored wings belong
and maybe my many children will overcome
what little earth wraps around our wings?


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