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Maya Savin Miller

Pasadena, CA

Polytechnic School


CAS for Database

(in the middle of a butterfly crisis, california sees a burst of painted ladies)

the butterflies

are migrating

by the millions

across the state,

          and i


          the time you told me

                  how you crushed a

                  monarch mid-flight

                  just to see

                          how it would feel

                          to have something

                          beautiful die in your palm,

                  how some things remain

                  forever a part

                  of our bodies:

          the clamor of bones,

          the sound of a door

          clicking shut,

clipped wings,

scarred knuckles.

i remember

          we used to let the dog sleep

          in the bed with us

          until she died

                  in a body like this.

                  now we let nothing pass

                  and i’m scared of the dark

                                          and death;

                          maybe they’re the same but

                          it doesn’t change the fact

                          that i can never fall asleep.


                                                  this crossing as

                                                                  a burial

                                          tracked by scratch marks

                                          where we tried to claw

                                          our way out,

                          the exit wounds

of every unabated hook.


Some butterflies achieve beauty through dulled imprints rather than colourful sights, and "headline" is sure to let you know this. Its precise, visceral imagery does not hold back, leaving questions that will constantly make itself known to you: which parts of life should we cling to, and how much of it is our choice?

A senior at Polytechnic School in Pasadena, California, Maya Savin Miller’s writing has appeared in Cargoes, Up North Lit, Hadassah, Battering Ram, Bluefire, Skipping Stones and jGirls. Her work has been recognized by Princeton, Hollins, Columbia, Rider, Scholastic, Library-of-Congress, Skipping Stones, Blank Theatre Young Playwrights Festival, and Leyla Beban Foundation.


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