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2022 Issue  >  Poetry  >  Fall of a Monarchy

Photo by Mikayla Faivre

Fall of a Monarchy

Matt Mutiva

A man’s true power is being

able to decide his own end.

And I am the traveler between worlds

where countless Lantanas were planted.


A woman is washing the blood

from the head of a cow, which still 

has its eyes and horns intact. She loves 

in ways we’re only starting to understand.


The streams running between the bushes 

are quiet. The trailing edge of our forewings

tracing the treetops along the way,

flying upwards where the woman can’t 

reach us 


Where we float down the sodden oyamel boughs in a parade of orange and black, 

and we can’t stop trembling

even though we’ve reached the right part 

of the forest with shallow

spring-fed puddles.


In the middle of the trail

is the flutter of a thousand wings 

as the heat escapes into the sky.

We make a beautiful, susurrant sound

lying on the forest floor, still wet 

from last night’s rain path, with closed wings that resemble clasped hands,

with fingers pointing upwards, praying 

where my ancestors wintered. 

Matt Mutiva is a regular guy who writes what he can when he can. And when he can't, he writes anyway. If he's lucky, they'll call it poetry.

Mikayla Faivre is from North Freedom, Wisconsin, and is majoring in Animal Science. She has always been enamored by storytelling and spends her spare time reading or writing. Mikayla is a recipient of the David Cole Award in Creative Writing. This is her second year as an editor for the Spirit Lake Review.

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