This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Sally Rosen Kindred, is from Rare Wondrous Things by Alyse Bensel, released by Green Writers Press in 2020.
Glossary for Metamorphosis I
samen, millet seed. Caterpillar or moth eggs.
Does every cluster signify life? Like pills or ribbed
pale shells or thin paper lanterns. An ant’s nonpareils.
Microscopes revealed how the heads emerge like polyps
from their coral bud. I could tell you they are a filament
in the crosshairs of a universe expanding. I could tell you
what builds the earth.
ey. Cocoon of moths or butterflies.
I have failed God less but you more. This is the place of
waiting. Life hangs on thread and spit. As though the
wind could not crush every silken covering like a tent in
goldlinge. A chrysalis speckled with gold.
The most precious things are broken with color. I never
wanted gold rings. Solid lasts too long, pretending to be
forever. Not even the sun will stay. Passing comets leave
a streak fading across the sky, promising return.
silberlinge. A chrysalis the color of silver or mother of pearl.
A piece of silver clinging to a stem. You are a pendant
burnished and kept in a silk-lined drawer, never feeling
the hollow of my neck.
date kernel, date pit. Butterfly or moth pupa.
Aristotle thought of date seeds spit to the ground.
He never learned pupas do not arise from putrefied
mud and shit. Every fifth-grade classroom hangs a
mesh cage for caterpillars to change. A biology lesson.
Transformation begins this cycle. And ends it.
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