Swallowtail, by Dan Lubelski

The Unbutterflied Butterfly Garden, by Michael Brockley

The gardener sprinkles Japanese beetles with vinegar as the
dragonfly of Juneberries spurns a bouquet of pink coneflowers for
the favor of an early swamp rose. Black-eyed Susans curtsy while
line dancing with humidity. But bee balm has poxed the heart of
the gardener’s beloved with mildew. Still, rumors persist of a kaleidoscope of swallowtails deadheading zinnias. Milkweeds flourish
amid thistles. Houseflies slumber on purple clovers. The gardener with his unlucky scarab-beetle history pollinates greenhouse
sunflowers by hand. And digs in the flowerbeds with a sharp, three-
-pronged tool. For years his Cavaliers and Cruzes have stranded
him before Indiana toll booths without a backseat love song. But
in his garden without butterflies, he sings “Ain’t no sunshine when
she’s gone” to the four patron saints of bees. White wildflowers
blossom among Queen Anne’s lace. Shasta daisies wilt throughout the unhurried tithonia afternoon. Dandelions loose their
gray seeds on the evening’s southwest breeze. In the morning, the
gardener will whisper an inaudible aubade to false sunflowers.

Credits for The Unbutterflied Butterfly Garden: An Imaginary Benefit Album for One-Hit Wonders—Various Artists

1. “The Dragonfly of Juneberries Spurns Pink Coneflowers for a Swamp Rose,” Aoi and the Aloe Camaro…2.51
2. “Black-eyed Susans Curtsy While Line Dancing with Humidity,” Elvis Parsons and the AWOL Sidekicks…3.05
3. “Bee Balm Mildew in Your Heart,” The Rorschach Submarines…4.11
4. “Rumors of a Swallowtail Kaleidoscope,” Route 39…4.18
5. “Deadheading Zinnias in June,” Bobbie Hugh and the False Hoods…1.59
6. “Pollinating Sunflowers by Hand,” Daisy Rose Salvia…5.38
7. “Marigold Sedan Stranded in Indiana without a Back Seat Love Song for the Toll Road,” Quentin Brocksickle…4.30
8. “The Patron Saint of Black-and-White Daylilies Blesses the Ghosts of Bees,” Lizabeth Scott and Robert Mitchum’s Fedora…3.41
9. “Shasta Daisy Snafu,” The Wardrobe Felonies…5.08
10. “A Mexican Sunflower Afternoon: Nice-Guy Friend Suite,” Censored Solenoid…4.23
11. “Dandelion Ice Cream,” One-Hit Leon and the Warning Track Power…2.38
12. “False Sunflower Aubade,” Aaron Burr County Road Crew…3.20
Bonus Hidden Track: “Milkweeds,” The Drive-In Double-Feature Special with Guacamole…2.47 (single version)

Michael Brockley is a retired school psychologist who lives in Muncie, Indiana where he is looking for a dog to adopt. His poems have appeared in Pine Cone Review, The Parliament Literary Journal, and Visiting Bob, Poems Inspired by the Life and Art of Bob Dylan. Poems are forthcoming in Borderlines Journal, Last Stanza Poetry Journal, and Marrow Magazine.