Volume 68, Number 2 · Spring 2019


A monarch butterfly, fallen from the air,
lay in a field. I took her home, pinned her

to the wall above my desk. For five years
she was part of the scenery, like the tea-

cup my son painted, or like the Post-it Note
you left once, slipping out before I woke:

I love you scrawled in Sharpie. I took for granted
her orange-rind, stained-glass wings, slanted

bolts of black the texture of velvet
paintings, white spots along the edge like eyelets.

I moved in with you gradually, a few boxes
each weekend for months. I moved the monarch

toward the end in a frenzy of packing and lifting.
I was careless with her, tossed her without thinking

into a liquor box filled with books, the spines
uneven hazards. That she was mine

to protect had not occurred to me before
I opened the box to find the right wing torn,

so all that was left was her body,
the other wing, and orange flecks like confetti

that I shook out over my empty desk, brushed
into my palm, and let fall into the trash.

I was certain she was beyond repair,
but now that she’s gone, I see her everywhere.

A poet and essayist, Elizabeth Hazen’s work appears in The Best American Poetry 2013, Southwest Review, the Threepenny Review, the Normal School, and other journals. She teaches seventh and eighth grade English at Calvert School in Baltimore. Alan Squire Publishing released her first book, Chaos Theories, in 2016. Her second book is forthcoming in 2020.