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.
    the rat-a-tat-tats of the machine gun stop,
    after the napalm cools
    death stops the tears of pain,
    the evaporation,
    a squadron of lepidoptera alights.
    And on the still warm, salt-rich human cheeks
    a shroud of pulsating colors.

Copyright 2021 by Red River Review. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.
No work may be reproduced or republished without the express written consent of the author.