THE SOUND OF SILENCE

The fluttering wings of a butterfly are soundless—unless. . .
Unless you climb that high hill in Michoacan
To the spot where las mariposas monarcas retreat each winter
And the sun comes out to warm them
And hundreds of thousands of pairs of wings
Begin to move in pulsating syncopation,
Creating a sound that crosses the threshold of silence,
Quiet, but as perceptible as a heartbeat—
A challenge to the laws of physics:
Nothing plus nothing plus nothing—multiplied—
Equals something! Definitely equals something—
Indelible, recorded in my memory,
An impression that will last
As long as I breathe out and in.

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