You were waiting for the blue veils of twilight
to drape over you, layer upon layer of wavelengths
coming millions of miles. Sometimes you can’t focus
on the difference between reality and plausibility.
At the center of the spiderworld, a butterfly freezes
for an instant in mid-seizure. As if convulsing or not
could save it from those dark fibrillations. Its wings
open like hands that are tired of praying for anything.
Both fanged and horned, an observer shifts its objective
viewpoint from one head to another: Nature has so many
beautiful and dangerous lessons to offer us. Incarnadine,
engorged, it absorbs those instructions like visible light
from the wrong end of a spectrum. You ask what it will do
with that knowledge? Construct more effective snares.
F.J. Bergmann writes speculative fiction, poetry, and what falls between those worlds. She is the editor of Star*Line, the journal of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, the poetry editor of Mobius: The Journal of Social Change, and poetry editor at Dark Renaissance Books. Her chapbook Out of the Black Forest, an illustrated collection of conflated-fairy-tale poems, won the 2013 SFPA Elgin Award, and her poem "100 Reasons to Have Sex with an Alien" won the 2015 Rhysling Award for the Long Poem.