House of Butterflies

The skeletal remains of a couple were found buried in a field, awkward bones

clanked in mud embrace. A hemp rope twizzled violently round their flesh.

Her arms clenched his neck; chins pensive on scapulas. Why was this couple

not buried separately in a proper graveyard? And no casket? Two sweet bodies

in a simple pit in a lost forest by a lovely pond. Enraptured couples have been

excavated a few times before: a 6,000 year old couple locked in Valdaro.

They might have died clenching, but it is hoped they were buried that way.

Lovers have been dug up in love’s fate as far away as Siberia by archeologists.

Why is this the exception, and not the rule? There are insects on all our skins.


TOM PAINE’s poetry is upcoming in The Nation, Fence, Green Mountain Review, Hunger Mountain, Forklift, Hotel Amerika, Epiphany and elsewhere. He is a professor in the MFA program at the University of New Hampshire.