• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 04
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Taming the butterflies

They’d perch on us like living brooches,
we thought of everything, my sister and I,
made an irresistible, luxury boudoir.

of buddleia, clematis and pop-pom headed
dahlias, in a biscuit-tin lined
with juicy green hydrangea leaves.

They’d love it, feasting and attending
gentle training sessions,
where they would learn to become jewellery.

They didn’t understand their good fortune,
we had to harvest them as they paused
to bask on sun-warmed walls.

Their flutter of resistance repelled me
and the feel of the powder from their wings
lingered afterwards when I was in bed.

All night I dreamt of their angled legs,
their waving antennae, their extending
proboscises, their blank eyes,

I forgot their lovely wings. On waking
I opened the tin to liberate them and wept
as their limp bodies failed to launch.

How I hated them for being so weak.