A Few Short Words

Dense Not Thick




When I was young I might have called them butterflies, now I don’t know. It’s an anxious swell, the jittery presage of a panic attack all twisted up with ideas about love, lust, and loath, like being tickled to the point of pain. I want to dive in deep and run away far, I want all or nothing. I can’t seem to resolve myself and the wings keep beating a goddamn maelstrom in my stomach, a tattoo on my heart, and emotional tinnitus wringing in the mind. When I was young I might have called it potential for happiness.


The butterflies are mating. I watch them dance in the hibiscus, their innocence seemingly assured, but their playground chase draws such an obvious circle around the cycle that it leads me into death. Are they consumed by the catch or does their meaning shift with them into an end? I wonder how long it all lasts. Selfishly, I want more for their lives, purpose beyond imperative, though, for all that I see wasted, there are so many yet that romp inside the fray. When my time comes, I hope I will be able to dance in the same way.

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