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Butterfly Antennae

after Alexander Calder's 'Antennae with Red and Blue Dots'

Tonight there is too much interference to think –
in a town’s scattered Rubik’s cube of screens
one face is switched to static.


In a grove of electrical pylons
sparks of butterflies
make it difficult to think.

There’s the brain's confetti, as if shaken
into the air by a petal-headed child.


I’ve heard of a man who was lighting a film set
when a hawkmoth mistook his ear for an escape
and writhed against the eardrum.


Then it was always raining, even on the train,
where a fly caught against the window
travelled the length of the country like a rumour.


Locked in my palm
the butterfly loses itself among my fingers,
and the hand knows only chalkdust.

This is how the word butterfly was first absorbed –
with the rubbing of palms, then prayer.


Tonight all thought is interfering.
I never shook that intruder loose.

The rain of untuned radios
is swarming

above the buildings, over the river
which is a mirror made of crane flies
with so much to take in it has shattered.