Proboscis

The brooch must contain traces
of her. In the solder bearing glass
to wing, a bit of cell, a fleck of skin
resides, this amulet is her
as much as mine.
The butterfly falls open
in my palm.

By caress and incantation
the jinn unfurls from brass
antenna and twines around
my naked face
planting one kiss then another
dozen the way she did, her powdered cheeks
fluttering, alight
until I squirmed from the onslaught
of an affection,
so much like thirst.

“I know you love me,” she would say
on her way into the hall, closing
the door on fleeting dusk, my visit
in that blink of summer never long enough to probe
under folded silk slips and kidskin gloves
to unearth each rose bead, each hidden leaf
of virgin jade. I loved her in return,
I suppose (as if a child has any notion
of the magnitude of such a claim). She told me I did
so this is how I know

that when the jeweled pin
pierces the wrap at my breast, she is
what thrums there
drawing nectar from the pistil
still, but with all the latent force
of flight.
 

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