Issue 16.4 – Poetry

Issue 16 - Poetry (6)

Something about seeing

a preserved butterfly’s wings

pinned back makes me think

about mercy, about how


Nabokov drew each wing as

delicately as some braid hair.

I would like to unspool each

lingering strand of air never

touched by harsh animal chaos


and patches of dust never written

on by wings. Some days I sit on the

park bench in the inner sunset and think

lightning, volcanoes—even with

our human fire so hidden. I think


dissectionsof pine trees and

sparrows, cabinet of curiosities

that we are, I would never dream

of looking in the other direction

when the spider eggs hatch and

the wind shakes the sycamores


like they owe it money. I am

known to only take what I need,

so when I leave nothing has been

misplaced and damages are clean

and unbroken. But I am only human:


I want the treasure without the pain

and bad tastes that need a scalpel

or maybe just some very fine tweezers

to get out.


I want to open up the small world we knew

and find something bright worth claiming,

the small miracle that made it all happen,


the part of us that’s still worth saving.

Aya ElizabethAya Elizabeth is an artist, bookseller, and poet living in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she is also from. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming in Konch Magazine, Typishly, The Write Launch, Up The Staircase Quarterly, Habitat Magazine, and Twyckenham Notes.


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