Butterfly Solipsism

A butterfly’s flapping over Costa Rica,
it’s sometimes hypothesized,

can initiate the chain that leads to tornados
in Toledo, hopping and ripping the heart

from every-other quotidian home.
Or maybe its deft stretch-and-glide

might instigate a violent Mississippi’s
surprising rise beyond its otherwise

stolid realm—the dainty queen
behind that vast rebellion.

So I suppose I could blame this monarch
that reigns today’s thermals,

that just licked six purple puffs in beach grass
then juked my breezy mind,

for the nicknamed waves of catastrophe
predicted to sweep the sleeping Gulf,

the nightly news even proving it
via weather patterns green-screened

before the stocks and sports. Instead
I’m turning a grateful face

toward the nor’easter breaching
the stony coast of my brain:

when it rattles shutters
to sash to rafters I’ll be

unlatching the deadbolts,
throwing open the windows,

readying the musty guest bedroom
of my heart in welcome.

—first published in A Little Instability without Birds
Finishing Line Press, 2006)

-D.R. James

D. R. James has taught college writing, literature, and peace-making for 36 years and lives in the woods near Saugatuck, Michigan, USA. His most recent of nine collections are Flip Requiem (Dos Madres Press, 2020), Surreal Expulsion (The Poetry Box, 2019), and If god were gentle (Dos Madres Press, 2017), and his micro-chapbook All Her Jazz is free, fun, and printable-for-folding at the Origami Poems Project. https://www.amazon.com/author/drjamesauthorpage