If, when I say butterfly, you believe
she used to wing her way around the milkweed
gathering bouquets of dill like handfuls of pollen,
that is not what I mean. She liked it in the dirt—
played softball, got down in the dust,
had sex for the first time while camping. The garden comes later—
here, there is nothing that blooms. I wish
I could tell you I smelled the damp of mushrooms
sprouting in her gut the day she told me that love
was different than in love, but at least she loved him,
right? But I was just confused. I didn’t know the cycle
she was entering into. The last good day
I remember, there was a virgin strawberry daiquiri
in her fridge, bright pink: the last good day
everything was still sweet, with a hint of tang
we wouldn’t think to call sour. Don’t think boy,
think entomologist, pinning a butterfly through the thorax.
Think the opposite of a moth: a pop of color spiraling
away from the light. Think of the butterfly’s life
cycle in reverse: girl full of flight closing her wings,
then crawling out of the darkness that tried to swallow her whole.
Someday, there will be a strand of red poppies threaded
to her thigh. A rose crawling up her side. Her body
becomes a garden.