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Poem | 'How to trap a butterfly' by Melineh Yemenidjian

April 22, 2020


By Melineh Yemenidjian


Poem | 'How to trap a butterfly' by Melineh Yemenidjian

    "How to trap a butterfly" is Melineh Yemenidjian's third poem published by h-pem.

Writer's name Melineh Yemenidjian


City/Country Los Angeles, Calif.
About the writer
  • A lifelong poet who is beginning to publish her work
  • Studied Liberal Studies at California State University, Long Beach
  • After an MFA in Creative Writing, she hopes to teach poetry at the university level and host retreats and workshops

How to trap a butterfly

“It’s simple,” he said to his son.
“just pinch your fingers like this.”
He brought his index and thumb
together over the filmy, velvet
of the monarch’s wing.
“Will it hurt her?” the boy asked.
“No, she won’t feel a thing,
and once we have her
we can put her in a jar to keep.”
“Will she have air?” asked the boy
turning his face up to his father,
his eyes wide. “Of course,
we will poke holes.”
“Holes,” repeated the boy,”
“Quickly,” said the father,
“open the jar so we can put her in.”
The son gingerly put his palm
over the lid of the marmalade jar
and twisted it open.
It made a sound like a wet kiss.
The father dropped the butterfly
into its translucent chamber
and told the boy to screw
the lid on tightly, and the boy did.
Father and son watched the butterfly;
its wings lost in a flurry of flame.


Read Melineh Yemenidjian's “Equ-I-pose” and “Lady Libertine.”

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