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Monarch A monarch butterfly fallen from the air lay in a field. I took her home, pinned her to the wall above my desk. For five years she was part of the scenery, like the tea- cup my son painted, or like the post-it note you left once, slipping out before I woke: I love you scrawled in Sharpie. I took for granted her orange-rind, stained-glass wings, slanted bolts of black the texture of velvet paintings, white spots along the edge like eyelets. I moved in with you gradually, a few boxes each weekend for months. I moved the monarch toward the end, in a frenzy of packing and lifting. I was careless with her, tossed her without thinking into a liquor box filled with books, the spines uneven hazards. That she was mine to protect had not occurred to me before I opened the box to find the right wing torn, so all that was left was her body, the other wing, and orange flecks like confetti that I shook out over my empty desk, brushed into my palm, and let fall into the trash. I was certain she was beyond repair, but now that she’s gone, I see her everywhere.
File Girls Like You Excerpt.doc