top of page

painted lady

Lyla Saab

if i had known it would flit off

like that i’d’ve rested 

my eyes on it a little longer

but i didn’t know 

and didn’t look long enough

no, i reached for my phone

in an attempt to render

68 billion of its pigments

inside a net of pixels

a jar without holes

my friend 

where we were going

there is no need to breathe

but you were headed 

somewhere else

iridescent red-orange empress

or is it orange-red?

bright enough to carry poison

landing at my feet 

with the quietest 

of orchestral swells

each spotted wing

burning phosphenes

in my mind’s eye

a two-second touch

all fire and no ash

it left and i couldn’t tell you

when or how

it was just there 

and then it wasn’t

bottom of page