The Butterfly
Razan-al-Najjar (Khan Younis)

The copper butterfly punctures her chest,
shreds and incarnadines her medic vest.
– These vests and kitbags are deadly weapons.
She doesn’t know she’s been hit. “My back,” she yells.
“My back.” She falls. The butterfly has spread
its wings inside her, spread her bone, vessels,
tissue – its mettle – on others like her:
medics come to tease wire, treat gore, pull back
through a gap someone alone there, felled
by a teargas canister. – Not enough
– that mace – so, told to shoot to kill, they kill
whom next they’ll flip from angel to demon
with some film they’ll clip, those who rip up
her wedding dress to make a bridal shroud.

– Douglas Lipton