Volume 28, Number 1


Tucked in my chrysalis, I’m touched
By the rumble of those far-off wars.
In my dark snuff their meanings are muted,
Their voices like the tremors from caterpillar
Treads. I take the cocoon wall, the damp
Scales, and draw how it feels to be bumped
By the rifle butt, men screaming
In weird tongues, the whipple of flames.

My creations will matter. My pupa will
Lodge a slug of tenderness, a shot
Some child will find the spot life came to be,
And when I finally draw myself from my sheath,
The slip of beauty from my wings
Will batter broken cities.

—Jared Pearce