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Butterfly Effect

November 19, 2017

I waltz in, expecting tangos

and paso-doblés, patterned in Olé

and mango-lassoed tongue.


The room is a humid cube
of bodies quaint and queer,
a champagned aviary to the ears.


All are gathered in albatrossed
ground-plans around imaginary eggs,
clutching plastic, cawing politics.


How do you know him is

a common icebreaker,

calving all walks of occupation


and I say, we shared poetry once

but he’s never come to my shows,
though I chalk it up to the business.


And the clockwork caws turn awkward                                                      

so we try long-distance or dosey-do                                                                 

or don’t say anything at all.


It’s a lot to think in present-time,                                   

speed-dating a forest of strangers                                   

all pre-paired and pinned together                                   

and I wonder about the food web                                   

where one chew churns up several                                   

in these invested woods wherein                                   

Interest is paid dependent upon                                   

Production Values, Protections,                                   

and mostly Liberal Protests                                               

and my hands are beating wings                                               

intense like sudden heart flutters,                                                        

aposematic sputters of word-stutters                                               

and I hope they find it charming.                                               

Fascinating.  Groundbreaking.                                               

Like ogling a birdwing butterfly.


Only I think they prefer it pinned                                   

to a poster rather than all over them                                   

like a parasite artist.


My phone tells me to breathe.                                                                          

I press it to update me, sedate me,                                                             

but it presents me nothing but the present.


Here and now never warns you                

of the future communion had you taken    

one step to the left instead of right,


one beat better and I would’ve been married,                                                                

one side effect away from carried to Norway,                                                                    

if I just play my cards all clubs and hearts.


But I fold for the night.

Dance card full, I two-step
to the streets of outer space


where sound bends predictable
and the butterfly is infinitesimal small
and less exhausted in the moonlight.

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Ryan Oliveira

Ideas.  I'm full of them.

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