My collar is starched, preserved and pinned to befit black tie. I sit on white upholstery, upholding
propriety the best I know how. Sweat collects on my shoulders as I shoulder what I so-call
sophistication. Sweat under suit jackets runs black as ink.
I sit and I glance as you dance.
You are turned away from my eyes, faceless,
a butterfly tattoo emblazoned on your back. Motion
proceeds relative to another body,
and I stay motionless,
lost in the flutter. Scapula form lepidoptera
wings that writhe with each twist and rhythm
to escape the confines of skin.
Wings open wide, on display, false eyes
stare back with desire to fly, unrestrained
by cutaneous butterfly
nets. So wings waft effervescent, up
and down, push dust down,
rise up. The reverse is true, too, as the butterfly
flies: push breath up,
Oscillation as it levitates, ambivalent
to hardwood dancefloor or high ceiling, indifferent
toward struggle or ease, tumbling,
between fall and flight;
shoulder blades and life.
Daniel Fleischman is a senior at SUNY Geneseo. He studies creative writing and biology because he believes salamanders are worth writing about, too. At home in Ossining, New York, he can be found running into spiderwebs as he daydreams in nature preserves or admiring his pet cocker spaniel.