poem index


Dana Levin

, United States
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Dana Levin

Dana Levin is the author of Sky Burial (Copper Canyon Press, 2011). She teaches at Santa Fe University of Art and Design and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


by this poet

Six monarch butterfly cocoons
      clinging to the back of your throat—

      you could feel their gold wings trembling.

You were alarmed. You felt infested.
In the downstairs bathroom of the family home,
      gagging to spit them out—
            and a voice saying Don’t, don’t—

The mind sports god-extensions.

It's the mountain from which
        the tributaries spring: self, self, self, self—

        rivering up
                on curling plumes
        from his elaborate

                of smoke.

In the moment between
the old heart and the new
two angels gather at the empty chest.

The doctors flow over them as winds, as blurs, unnoticed but as currents
around this body, the flesh of the chest peeled back
as petals, revealing

a hole.
In it

the layers are fluttering—the back muscle, the bone, the chrome