Memento Mariposa

by Anthony Pearce

“Each winter they flee the cold,” the paper says of the little gods of instinct. Monarchs hanging in polished bone branches in Michoacán, finding south out of crumpled chrysalis. Each winter they find haven. “This winter the chill of an unexpected storm found them.” The paper shows them scattered dead on the forest floor like tiles of the Alhambra opening into geometry. A man in the picture walks among their fermenting bodies, treading along lifeless wings, wrinkled origami. I wish my hands would reach and gather a handful to bring home and pin to my bedroom wall like puckered autumn leaves.

 

Anthony is a graduate student in Hispanic Literature at BYU.