• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 04
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Swallow tail wings ebon and yellow billow
flutter, land, and scatter rarified dust, fill each
gentle breeze with aerial grace as grains
of pollen anoint Tristan’s forehead
his innocence amazed, delighted,
enthralled by celebratory flights, nature’s rites
of passage—journeys commencing
eggs to larvae—molting into chrysalises
emerging fully developed: elegant, refined—
almost balletic—as adults glide over hills
pirouette in pairs through summer meadows.

Tristin sticks out his tongue, uncurls it
like a proboscis, dreams about sipping sodas
rather than nectar through his own spongy straw;
examining his evolving human legs and arms,
he recognizes kindred souls—lime green caterpillars
freckled with yellow dots on zebra like markings—
knowing he too remains unfinished, walking awkwardly
through adolescence as unsightly as pupae anxious to shed
skin; gangly, all thumbs, he checks mirrors for facial hair,
assesses post-pubic values, eschews social situations where
butterflies amass in his stomach instead of azure skies.