Today a red admiral flew into the cafe, fluttering in long drunken circles. Its shadow, slight and uncertain, grazed the teapots and the mesh pastry covers until at last it perched on a floral-printed pitcher, high up on a press. Two years ago I would spot butterflies everywhere-
in a hotel, secret friend while I make beds and clean toilets; folding and unfolding its wings on a picture frame while the immigration officer tells me I'd have to return to California; at a newsagent, sailing above knee-high boys buying packs of Players for moms and pops; drunken on sunlight in the computer room at Jimmy's school as fingers quickly express longing for cities, sequoias, and Pacific brine
I don't notice the butterflies as much as I used to; that much time has fluttered by.