Myrtle-Green Butterfly

One day, she realized that the

myrtle-green butterfly 

she was holding onto for dear life

belonged to the air.

She’d held onto it  

longer than was necessary.

Not wanting to hurt 

its myrtle wings

she had come to love,

not wanting to see it struggle

to break loose,

she set it free.

It was a butterfly unlike the 

counterparts of its species –

the dust of its wings never left

the ridges of her fingers. 

Thenceforth she sat

on the blue-gray cobblestones

flanked by withered patches 

of pink carnations

and strewn with dead leaves.

Dragonflies, aphids, grasshoppers

like mocking winged missiles 

would slowly approach and hastily retreat.

They’d whisper loudly,

Don’t get too close, it’s dangerous,

for the butterfly-catcher to hear.

Searching, sometimes for hours,

she watched slow-beating wings

draw from the bosoms of 

slow-dancing flowers,

but the pairs of wings she saw 

were either too gaudy as

a gypsy’s motley patch-dress,

or too unremarkably plain as

a scullery maid’s aged apron. 

At long last, one evening 

when the dusk was robbing 

the last colors of the day,

she spotted it – her myrtle-green butterfly –

hovering alone 

near the golden-hearted purple irises. 

With the caution of

a person crossing a field

sown with landmines,

the febrile franticness of

a lone soul crossing 

a fraying drawbridge,

she made her painstaking way thither. 

Like a sinner, going down 

on bended knees,

the butterfly-catcher whispered

her apology:

I’ve been waiting to see you

just to say

I’m sorry for catching you

the other day.

Though it wasn’t eternity,

I held onto you too long,

but then I let you go because 

it’s not where you belong. 

It made me so happy when I held you,

But happiness isn’t happiness

if the other’s not happy too. 

Myrtle-green butterfly, you were 

special to me,

but you were never mine for the keeping

so I set you free. 

One Day in Time 

Time will translate this weakness into strength;
One day even the scars will be faded like old ink on old parchment;

The mind’s eye will soon see only blurred memories,

Memories relieved of their intensity, their stimulus,

Memories robbed of their sting, their power to hurt.
The sun will conquer every lonely, dark night;

The storm will die, the sky will clear.

Pain will tire of rearing its head, its fangs will not pierce, will not kill;

It’s strangling hold will break, it will be defeated in its purpose.

Broken hearts will mend, broken people will be made whole.
One day in time, we will be set free. 

Destroyer 

For what, I ask, do you waste yourself 

Raining on a beautiful canvas while it’s drying?

Decanting your acid into my spring waters? 

Destroying what you haven’t created?
My happiness, does it counteract yours?

Does breaking bridges gratify your appetite for destruction?

(But all you can hope to achieve is a non-calamitous dent.) 
I’m a leaning tower that defies 

The gravity of your acrimoniousness 

That persistently but futilely labors to 

Cause my fall, my breakage. 

But the integrity of my substance 

Exceeds the strength of your pull,

Keeping me from shattering,

Keeping you from triumphing. 
The hand that holds the knife is not

Guaranteed against being cut by its own blade. 

The arm that swings the hammer of destruction

Will itself debilitate, courtesy of its weight. 

Flame 

Sulfur mates sulfur.I transfer its child –

A blue-hearted golden leaf

Onto a black spine infixed

In a sacrificial white cylinder.
This blue-gold pendant 

Is the nocturnal man’s 

Misshapen anachronic sun –

The nighttime writer’s allegory –

His passion typified – 

Intense, burning, resistant 

To opposing suffusing winds. 

This is What it Feels Like to be Human

With hearts like diaphanous, broken wings,Pervious bodies on beds of rusted nails,

Minds like speared chrysalises, contents spilling,

We let go of, we lose our quintessence.
We are rocks that fragment under pressure,

Sere twigs that snap, void carapaces that

Crack under the clubfoot of distress. 
Creatures we are whose endurance has

The lifespan of a squirming fish out of water,

Whose vigor wears like watercolor on 

Parchment in the rain. 

Whose patience is as evaporable as dry ice

In a funeral house. 

Whose strength is an armor forged out of a base alloy,

Denting at the slightest touch, 

Puncturing at the hits of dull toy arrows.
Our walls of defense are built on sand,

Our wills are as precarious as a house of cards 

In a room with open windows,

Our unattainable wants, unfulfilled, are balls and chains 

We drag along with us. 
This is what we are:

Creation recreating, 

Uncreating ourselves. 

This is what it is,

This is what it feels like

To be human. 

Bone, Flesh and Soul

Let the wind play upon those bones Like flutes, a dirge to that futile flesh

Which was but a poor keeper of

The soul it was entrusted with –

The soul that was a familiar of

The cradle of dirt wherein that 

Defunct chassis restlessly rots. 
Is the partnership of mind and flesh

As chargeable as corrupt Cain

Who sacrificed an innocent? 
Does the soul seek amends 

For its sacrilege – or does it

Content itself to suffer its keeper? –

That deflowered reliquary 

With its defiled relic.
So like flutes, let the wind 

Play upon those bones a dirge.

Else like faggots, let hellfire, 

Evermore feast upon them. 

Room

The room is dark.A staccato click,
A momentary spark.

Not Hope.

Death’s deceitful warmth is inhaled.

Ghosts, like mist, only hot,

Egress living orifices like they were 

Slinking out of sepulchers. 
The room is depressing.

A glimmer in the dark,

The reflection of a pulsing bright spark.

Not Relief. 

Death is corked in green glass.

There is a transfer from

One container to another –

A container susceptible to breakage.
The room is dreary.

A pop, the ground seems to evanesce 

The air feels lighter.

Not Ecstasy. 

Swirls of exhilarating air enter from cracked crooks and crevices.

Contaminated pipelines are further fouled,

Clogged with venom like nightshade berries –

Heretical prayer beads Death invoking. 
 The room, one day, fell still and went cold.