Michael Jemal

during the months and years

my father lost the pieces to his puzzled mind

he began eating butterflies

pulling at their bodies for the soft meat

unscrewing them at the waist

chewing on the thick underbelly

accepting the bitter taste of the butterfly skin

he’d dismantle their wings without losing a dram of color

scissoring off with his fingers the red and blue wing markings

enjoying only the consistency of the yellow and greens

I would see him in the kitchen gesturing wildly

jesus jesus jesus

his hands knotting under the faucet water

drowning the most colorful butterfly

one by one in a stainless steel bowl

cursing himself and the butterflies that would not hold still