Butterflies


The darkness was welcome,
it needed somewhere to hide,
this thing that was locked up
deep down inside her where words
stark as bone had placed it to wait
at eleven, a thing that before was unknown
at sixteen consumed with a wish
it were gone but she'd kept it
and patient, it fluttered
with each passing thought of a freedom
from chains that she'd never sought
yet weighed in her mind
like the lies she had told to her friends
while they slipped off the leash
and regaled her with torment
and shameless proclivities
caught on a beach where
the tide came and went
to drown girls slow swimming
and cast them unshingled
and newborn as women
and with each cold lie
part of her honesty died
and she watched her friends eyes
for the shadows that fell
over stories that had
only truth left to tell and she
clutched this thing to her
for in that moment she saw
the value of something that cannot
be prized and can be thrown only once
in the wrong pair of eyes


In the darkness she felt
the cage door let slip as her
teeth caught and held on the flesh
of her lip and in that instant
it taught that her hunger unleashed
was a raging and unpredictable beast
that fought with a passion,
most violent of things,
for the the touch and caress
of a butterfly's wings
as it slipped from her body
no more able to lie
and spread out it's wings
on the bedclothes to dry


In the morning she watched it
afraid almost to move in case
it should fly and call her to shame
and become mixed with the memory
of each single lie that was stitched to her soul
with pretend lover's names
and it's wings were of red,
edging outwards to black
and in joy of the losing she
wished it were back so that giving
were part of her, each first time mating
Each first time a flight
with each first time waking
in bed with his scent and the touch
of his sting, softened
and weighted with a butterfly's wing
so she moved right up to it
to let it decide
if in the heat of her moment
the chrysalis had died or was waiting
for something to crawl back inside
but it lay there immobile
until she knew without shame,
that only moths are drawn back
to the scent of the flame

 

 

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