Like a Butterfly
for Amy Riddell
With a mouthful of bean dip,
I told you across the table covered
in my sprawling prose pretending to be poetry,
“How do you do it? You’re like a boxer.
You keep your eyes open, your arms in—
always a jab waiting in the wings.
I don’t do that.
My poems are tired toddlers
or drunken protestors in the rain
with blistered feet and signs too wet to be read
so they just start swearing.
You see where to hit
and how hard.
You study soft spots on repeat,
recall how fast the other falls.
You know divots in the record,
hearing skips before they happen.
You’re in the ring until the ding,
the last one standing.
I want those wings
that make you
Read selections from Amy Riddell’s Bullets in the Jewelry Box here. Then buy it. Lord have mercy, the things this poet does with words.by