From July 10th to August 17th I volunteered on a project studying the threatened Maroon-fronted Parrot in the Sierra Madre of NE Mexico. The parrots nested colonially in limestone cliffs, and my duty was to sit and observe and record nest activity, at times from a great distance. Some nesting sites had negligible nest activity, so I would wind up having 8 hours on my bum to deal with. As you can guess, I became adept at alternative activities. I wrote this poem on August 10th 2009. At this particular site I became obsessed with the butterflies, taking advantage of their weakness for urine salts. Enjoy!
On the gravel after I peed,
After the car passed and hit you,
Your forewing lay bent
And the breeze tumbled. You
Clung to my finger, tongue still
Tickling the salts, and green insides
Coming from your tip.
I placed you on my lap, my left hip
And squeezed your head
In the forceps of my fingers
And in a crunch you died.
So feathery, the wind still blossomed
Gave lift along your spine, your scales shedding
On my shorts. In the urine stain
On the gravel, sit six of your kind
Jostling over the wettest spots,
As I tuck you down beside me,
Press you in a rock crevice.
I don’t like you moving when you’re dead;
It gives me hollow dreams.
This would be the butterfly in question. A Marina Patch.
This would be his kind on my urine. Along with a Goatweed Leafwing.