Caught in the gusting wind,

a swallowtail flutters ahead.

The lights are red

for eight lanes in each direction,

leaving a vast emptiness

at the heart of the intersection,

except for a few left-turning SUVs,

and the butterfly,

buffeted by monsoon winds

from feeding on golden bells

in the median

to this oddly desolate space,

wings beating ineffectually.

Soon, the light will change

and I will drive forward

with the rest, complicit

in an ephemeral death.


Carol Poster is the author of three chapbooks of poetry, most recently Returning to Dust (Finishing Line Press 2017), and verse translations from Latin, Classical Greek, and French.  She has also published three books of commercial nonfiction and currently lives in Tucson, Arizona where she works as a freelance writer and photographer. Her books can be found at:

Image by B137 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


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