Issue > Poetry
Rebecca Lehmann

Rebecca Lehmann

Rebecca Lehmann is the author of the poetry collection Ringer, winner of the Donald Hall Prize for Poetry and forthcoming from University of Pittsburgh Press. Her first book of poetry, Between the Crackups, was published by Salt in 2011. Her poetry and nonfiction has been published or is forthcoming in Tin House, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Copper Nickel, The Iowa Review and other venues.

Lepidoptera


Unharnessed and limp-ankled, the dog dallies
on the line between country and town.
The sun, cantankerous false bride, marauds
across the sky, fat-faced as the morning you
watched the slip-eyed dog clamber along
the empty highway, dead skunk pinched
between his trapper's jaws. And who uncorked
the last petered flow of foundering butterflies,
pale dying monarchs and swallowtails,
their faded wings brittle and semi-transparent?

Are these messages important to you?
The shed chrysalis's meconium-soaked slit?
The dog-faced moth's dip and wiggle
for the rapacious moon? There could be
a river of snarling moons, each expectant,
dead-headed, eager to dig a hole in the dirt.
There could be a dog in the river, sunk low,
one unbearded butterfly pumping
its new wet wings in the back of his throat.

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