Illustration: birdbath photo digitally manipulated into mosaic of yellow and orange triangles

On I-40

I don’t remember which Canyon trip it was
when we drove through the butterflies
thick as wildflowers, a tangerine blizzard,
the 4Runner’s windshield spattered with stars.
We were confused at first
then delighted and
finally sad.
It wasn’t like we could just stop driving.
They went on and on like rain.

On the way back home,
(no more doomed flocks, just
skeletal billboards,
sun-crisped motels,
hills hand-pinched into reptile spines),
all the gold smears and champagne halos
glowed a graveyard from the sunlit glass.

Eren Harris is a genre- and gender-fluid creator. Their debut poetry chapbook, Chrysalis, is forthcoming from Lupercalia Press. Their short story “Bodies in Flight” won the fiction prize for Please See Me’s Spring 2020 contest. Eren’s poetry has been published in Two Hawks Quarterly, and in Selfish, and Violet Rising under a prior name. Their essays have featured in Salon, YourTango, and After Party Magazine. When not immersed in editing their first novel, Eren assists high school students with college application essays. They live in Los Angeles with their husband and two cats.

Illustration by C.B. Auder.

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