David Williams

Nothing Extra for Death

But to wake and focus on the mass
of a morpho big as my face!
Black iridescent scales
lush, feathery, chilling, seductive,
a mask perched by the bed.

I give this butterfly its due,
nudge it delicately with the paper.
Almost ritual how it lifts and lights,
lifts and lights, boneless wingbeats
sounding the room till it crosses

the windowsill. Dusted by flight,
morning sky deepens, leaves stir.
What remains has always been.
Voices in the street below
enter me like a wind.


*In Nahuatl tradition, the black morpho butterfly may be understood as a messenger of death.

David Williams lives in Worcester, Massachusetts.


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