red-spotted purple

Beads of rain that were shining moonlets 10 hours ago are now mere glitter. Night has shrunk to the dark iridescence in a butterfly’s wing.

Cool and clear. A so-called white admiral butterfly lands on the other chair, with all the black and electric blue allure of a velvet Elvis.

The crash of a falling limb or tree, muffled by moss and damp leaf duff. The humidity’s lifting. A white admiral butterfly lands on my hand.

Rain. A red-spotted purple lands on the top rail and spreads its dark wings like a damp umbrella. A jumping spider shelters under my foot.

A red-spotted purple butterfly emerges into the glare like an emissary from the shadows. In the front garden, a burst of wren chatter.

Cloudless and cool. A red-spotted purple and a silver-spotted skipper work adjacent bergamot heads, whose tubes are beginning to dry up.

The white porch railing is a landing-strip for butterflies: red-spotted purple, little wood satyr. A fat contrail lingers above the ridge.