Victim of Taxonomy

Design by Anasthasia Shilov

My mother’s birthday gift hangs terribly

above the door: a butterfly packaged

in polished glass, its death neatly managed.

Pins spread its wings open—a parody

of past flight, bare torso on exhibit

like a disrobed lover posing in bed.

An abashed voyeur, I let tears shed

at this stiff compliance, my illicit

delight in public surrender, motion

netted by my gaze. This contained decay,

a science—labeled and held on display,

wild beauty disciplined by an open

casket. Those black eyes a mirror, precise.

My own face held there, hungry for a vice.

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