Home > Transformation > Local Lepidoptera Adopt Municipal Pool for Epic Opera Debut

Local Lepidoptera Adopt Municipal Pool for Epic Opera Debut

September 25, 2008

Aunt Jemima floats in the round kiddy pool—
cap open dunked features snap back a child’s thumb squeezes bubbles rush her bottle body empty waterlogged empty as plastic casts a flask shadow on the submerged black limbs on the aqua-tinged concrete—droplet spray—a mama cuts coupons calloused feet legs wrapped in a towel where a cloud of faded butterflies silkscreens her fish tail scales—eclosion—the coupons’ colored sheen quivers—Aunt Jemima’s hollow body rebounds off the ground—a Don’t you ever let me catch you… and a Mama, please… join the tune from a blue kazoo—the chorus punctures a transformer’s distant hum descants the adolescent thrum—scales run and tumble in rapid fire procession line up at the deep end’s diving board—whistle blow—liquid exclamation marks punctuate the surface—a lifeguard calls Adult Swim and the thrum becomes a unified whine perched on the spray- painted SIX ft NINE ft TWELVE ft deep counting down fifteen rests while a Nana thigh jockeys a foam green noodle—at the diving end
a young Filipino man in black speedo stuns—
angles spring fly—a Chinese dragon tattoo rips across his back as he folds rolls—the dragon somersaults plunges sinks and a monarch orange wrinkle skips up dodges chlorine clouds pink floaty toys dripping heads flutters up over a silent blue kazoo an abandoned Aunt Jemima over coupons and the kiddy pool out over the barbed top of the chain link fence where it scores the transformer’s currents to sing Mariposa Mariposa my DNA remains the same even if I change my name—was I not the worm that crawled and hung that ate the milkweed’s leaf and petal—was I not the chrysalid kumbla-encased where leg and segment horn and eye liquefied—am I not the nymph—I am that which I have always carried—scarlet toxins—meconium gene feed—imaginal buds—this dissolve not inside the moth’s cocoon but this green sheath where each atom recombines out of ooze to form bright aposematic wings knotted threadlike antennae brushfooted legs a coiled tongue set loose from a translucent pupa—
I fold—Mariposa flexed—the Danaus plexippus

by Matthew Hittinger

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