Thus this restless little butterfly of the memory
has its wings burned now and cannot fly.
—Teresa of Avila
Char my wings. Lord, singe
these cells of forewing, hindwing.
Blacken memory’s sky blue
shimmer, its thousands of cells—
each startling pigment, each
dorsal and ventral venation—
the coppered glint of flight,
oh Lord. If prayer is forgetting,
let the colored dust of decades
rise in air, let me put away
all fluttered moments trapped
within my hair. These bodies
of memory—crippled, drab—
across the thirsty earth do blow.
I bring you, Lord, the rest
of it: my driving mind,
my flightless soul.
The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.