butterfly 99

Photo by Gene Defcon
butterfly 99
by Travis Catsull
mexican butterflies show
up on the tree
like they always do
licking up sap
dreamt my dad is gonna die on a saturday
in a yellow shirt
i move monkey grass
with the breeze of my hands
as chiggers cough up hay
the zombie draws a bath
after a steak buffet
so i changed my attitude
half-way through the king tut
and felt pure hearted
when rubbing his
for luck
in the gift shop
i saw a hatchet
being held by a woman
in interview attire
the sun leaks
hand sanitizer
and the eyes over
an almond field
rest in the next distance
i promise
for once
at a bullet
made of teeth filling
i sell satellites for a living
and every single customer
has told me to go ahead and fuck off
and it’s never anymore & always
and it’s a house made outta crazy straws
and it’s never more than you wanted
since there’s not enough time to
lift a pair of camel nuts
to read the punch line of your life
a backyard kiss
on the night before payday
i swear
the mannequin is
a testament to our most awkward poses
and paused pedestrians
let’s call up someone
we don’t know
like we used to
before we became content
with the people we know
i come home / drunk / dirty / broke / coked up
sleep in the living room
and later
pretend sleep is a pirate
instead of thinkin’ ’bout when
i have to disconnect my footsteps
steal rose buds
and samples of wing powder
from behind the bakery
and just go ahead
and get used to air conditioning
anything can eventually
be pounded into flour
a frog’s tooth
a pair of bronzed baby shoes
hanging from the rearview mirror
of an el camino
if the promises i made to me
didn’t hurt so bad
didn’t uproot fences
and stab mirrored fiancées at the carnival
i wouldn’t be able to love at all
i kiss pillows with permanent marker
i scream at orphans until it’s time to go to work
as we hang jump rope outside defensive driving
and it’s always a train whistle or a church bell
handing tickets to our ears
we gotta let a black bird go on and have that
but it’s up to you
i watch me love you
from the door of my grave
i love the organ
walking shadows back to life
but the witness
(remembering my colored wind)
says the car that hit us
must’ve got 100 mpg
to be clapping their hands
during the lone ranger radio hour
(i kissed 100 people)
we couldn’t shake the obelisk
and now who wants water?
(who shakes the obelisk?)
i just wanna cut out the fuzz
and fall straight into bliss
or a private well
run by some woman in baltimore
dry heaved streets
and little wicker hand baskets
i wait and paint a grain of rice
onto my toenail
and made up a new dance
about the woman in baltimore
because who will hold my breath
when i can’t breathe?
who will fascinate themselves
instead of calling back?
rejoice at the throne of your love
everything is half off
especially us.

0 thoughts on “butterfly 99

  1. Seems like the first half of the poem begins with morning describing dreams and actual play-by-play itinerary going thru the day (perhaps work, light chores, and leisure) and on into the night culminating with a party and the arrival home). Then the 2nd half of the poem seems more confessional relating some of the poet’s personal revelations, observations, hopes, fears, desires, so forth and also expounding upon relationship with oneself and with a lover.
    I get the impression that the King Tut reference is actual and not a figurative expression…the mention of an obelisk later on leads me to believe there may have been a trip to the museum. …And an actual woman from Baltimore. I like how the poem is used as ‘time capsule’ here as well as having that diary quality peak into the poet’s innermost being. It’s one of those poems i could read and reread and get different vibes/feelings for every time. Thx for sharing!

Leave a Reply