BUTTERFLIES
by Richard Fein

    A combat soldier gets them in his stomach,
    while the literal ones wait.
    These colorful bugs
    pull a sweet trick to earn their salt.
    After
    the rat-a-tat-tats of the machine gun stop,
    after the napalm cools
    after
    death stops the tears of pain,
    before
    the evaporation,
    a squadron of lepidoptera alights.
    And on the still warm, salt-rich human cheeks
    a shroud of pulsating colors.






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