I wrote this some time ago as a poem, but I think it works better as prose…maybe. I suspect it should be longer, but I don’t have it in me to produce long pieces, be they poems or prose. Once upon a time, yes, but those days are gone, and I suspect they won’t return.
“I ate a butterfly,” my son confessed late one night when the moon hid her face and the stars had twinkle-toed their way into the Great Beyond where giant creatures soared through interstellar space, a comforting prospect for me and my dutiful, sky-gazing, only child.
“I’ve heard worse,” I told him. “Hell, I’ve done worse, though butterfly eating isn’t the best thing in the world. You’re mom would have had a fit.”
I remember the time she cried in the backyard and I kissed her eyes until she stopped. She told me about memories she couldn’t have had, images of a past life she lived under violet clouds and three moons. We agreed that she was from another planet, and we acknowledged how terrible it was that she had to die on this one.
My son and I think that she must be one of the space creatures now, her cavernous mouth agape as she drifts in the cold darkness, lonely until she bumps until another creature she hopes is me or our son. Perhaps one day it will be, but for now she sighs an alien sigh and flaps her dark wings.
Back here on planet Earth, we struggle on. We etch our memories in sand, knowing they will fade with rushing water and wind. Some of us eat butterflies. The rest of us learn to forgive such things and try to smile.