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Letter to a Tortoise Beetle

Emerald nailed to the bottom

drawer, I couldn’t save the sheen

of your wing, your leaning belly on the mid-

rib dip of a leaf. Starved ladybugs 

tear your million-years shield. No one will miss 

you. They’re in the butterfly pavilion with stale

citruses, pressing lenses to a pair of male blue Morphos.

One darts at the other to pin him to the floor,

to force him to fly and to fight back. 


Siobhan Jean-Charles, a biracial Haitian woman with a curly undercut is wearing a brown tank top. She is sitting with her side profile visible, her head turned to gaze unsmiling at the camera. Green cacti surround her. Behind her, a glass window reflects telephone wires and buildings.

Siobhan Jean-Charles (she/her) is an MFA candidate at Arizona State University. Her poetry can be found or are forthcoming in Broadkill Review, Furrow, Redactions, The Tusculum Review, and The Shore Poetry, where she is the blog editor.