She once told me that when you see
a monarch butterfly pass you
someone is saying hello from heaven.
The one who died in winter, gone some place
beyond the clouds and the stars
leaving messages of I love you
with fluttering orange wings.
She said it was a way to take comfort
and I shook my head.
I told her she was wrong.
If the dead whispered to anything
they’d tell their soft secrets to moths.
Gray wings unfurled large and streaked silver,
floating through the summer night air
towards the bright half-formed moon.
Looking for home, looking for life.
And only because they can’t reach the light
seemingly lost, they seek poor imitations
glowing in the dark.
Carmen Barefield is a poet and fiction writer living in Salem, MA. She is currently working on a poetry chapbook. Some of her work can be found in Poetry Quarterly magazine and Black Heart magazine. Visit http://www.carmenbarefield.com to learn more.