Dana Levin

Ars Poetica

Six monarch butterfly cocoons
           clinging to the back of your throat—


           you could feel their gold wings trembling.


You were alarmed. You felt infested.
In the downstairs bathroom of the family home,
           gagging to spit them out—
                               and a voice saying Don’t, don’t



“Ars Poetica” is from Wedding Day (Copper Canyon Press, 2005).