William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

How You Bury a Butterfly

Imagine a future museum that preserves the furniture of today — the overstuffed chairs, the massive sofas, the acre-wide, bottomless, bloated beds — and its lean and agile visitors looking on wide-eyed, shaking their heads. Why did they torture themselves? How did they live that way?

High in the mountain wilderness, John Muir would use the scented branches of conifers to make a bed for the night. The crystal waters of streams and springs, he called champagne.

I slept for half an hour on the floor. I woke up two inches taller and ten years younger.

I spent the afternoon reading with my feet.

The dead are earth. The dead are flowers. The dead are wheat.

July 21, 2021


How You Bury a Butterfly

How you bury a butterfly,
in glass, or stone, or amber past
passed on, yourself thus
worn — and how
the butterfly


have known.

Recently Banned Literature, September 25, 2014


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Categories: New Poems & Pieces, Recently Banned Literature

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