Just by moving, we killed them,
small rust-colored butterflies spotted with gold,
just by driving up the mountain
we smashed them, splotching the windshield
with wings and guts like exploded blossoms,
so many he stopped the truck and we watched them—
a butterfly cloud outside Truckee—
till finally, not knowing what else to do,
we got back in the pickup and drove on,
two of us in our own closed world
of desire and damage.
Carolyn Miller is a poet, painter, and freelance writer/editor living in San Francisco. Her books of poetry are Route 66 and Its Sorrows (Terrapin Books), Light, Moving (Sixteen Rivers Press), and After Cocteau (Sixteen Rivers Press), and her essays have appeared in The Sun and The Missouri Review. Her poems have been featured on Poetry Daily, The Writer’s Almanac, and American Life in Poetry, and have appeared in Smartish Pace, The Gettysburg Review, The Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, and The Georgia Review, among other journals.