Refuge

The National Butterfly Center, South Texas

He fears for the wild things, butterflies at the border wall. The plan of action: a slice between the wings.

We love the clouds where you can see the fingers of Ra slicing. Before the eclipse I looked right at the sun. The damage division is building a wall. It doesn’t exist yet, but in our minds, a slice between the wings.

We tell the bees, but the bees don’t know the nature of our territories. Border bees suckle on dahlias and roses, butterflies cocoon on the lines. Out in the milkweed, new mestiza girl scouts decorate their vests with nationless monarchs. Out in the fields of historic decline, girls with little nail beds and thick black braids explore the wings made of orange stained glass.

The birders envision the slice like an axe-split tree. Vertical fray, nests inverted, thrown eggs speckled and oozing. One great wall through the breast, heart still fluttering.

I light damage with the sun. I examine drawings of halved birds by elevated masters and wince at juicy drumsticks. The tree bulbously grows over the sidewalk. If only the ocean were slopping and clinking in a canteen to be cleaned and refilled and drunk. Even the tesserae of a dead tree’s branches is beautiful and weightless. You can carry it with you. Across borders.