The Process of Catching a Butterfly This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

May 15, 2011
She spent weeks in the attic
searching for butterflies,
not in the air,
but sleeping in cans of paint.
The days smudged together
into a browning mess
as she chased unlikely hints-
awkward feelers, misshapen speckles.
Every picture was fraudulent,
every stroke, a mistake,
so she cried to the floorboards.
Dirty, tear-streaked, tired,
she was eluded by winged grace
even then in her dreams.
But in the moonlight, a restless foot,
thrown out in somnambulant rage,
caught her colored cans by surprise.
In the morning,
she found new hues of revelation in the sunrise:
spilled across a strewn canvas
was her perfect butterfly.

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