The Butterfly House + Climate Change


The Butterfly House

For a full month
once each year,
cops, skin cancer doctors,
and TSA agents
should be made to work
security at the insect
house of the Miami
botanical gardens,
and, positioned in the
airlock security room
between the green house
& egress, should
have to pat people
down impersonally,
flat fingers, careful
not to harm the
secret beauty each
body might hold.

Climate Change

Today, I’m going to
try to impersonate an
alarm clock that others
won’t want to punch,
someone who doesn’t
get hysterical over a
headline about Miami beach
going underwater and the net
sexiness of Florida flocking
inland, or LA cosplaying
as a birthday candle,
but that also doesn’t
gaslight himself like
an old timey-miner,
moving deeper into the
darkness, with his tiny
flickering flame, so
obsessed with
admiring the lovely
berry-scrawled paintings
of bison & deer, that he
stands there doing nothing
until the light goes out.

Adam Scheffler grew up in California, received his MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and his PhD in English from Harvard. His first book of poems—A Dog’s Life—was the winner of the 2016 Jacar Press Book Contest. His poems have appeared in The Yale Review, The Common, The American Poetry Review, The Cincinnati Review, Rattle, Plume, Barrow Street, Antioch Review, Sewanee Review, Verse Daily, Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day, and many other venues. He teaches in the Harvard College Writing Program.

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