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The Black Butterfly

"Help me!" "help me!"

He cried out.

His eyes were a mess of water and pain.

Screwed shut one moment, pain.

Open wide the other, fear.

Slanting pools overflowing with water, helplessness.

But watering gravel grows nothing.

With each cry, his spit,

defeatedly dropped onto the road;

While his wife's wildly flung in the air,

The dance of screams and cries.

There's many pools on the road now,

All nourished from his spit, sweat, tears and blood.

Black makes all of them the same tone,

Born of the same source,

Only the noon white sun highlights the colors.

And also, by extension, their shadows.

His voice now faint,

Lost to the weight on him.

Gasps are all the scholar can manage to communicate with.

The force of authoritarian humans,

Has branded him with blue and red marks,

Muted to sight,

Muted to empathy,

Due to the ever absorbent black.

His eyes are strangely unfocused,

Black on white,

Even here, the black has sight and the white doesn't.

His last breath is a short gasp,

His last sight - the white of the sun

And the white of the policemen.

The black of his wife is blinded out by the white sun.

His eyes close just below the officer's face.

The uniform looks black too.

Just beyond the chaos,

There's a field of sweet nectar.

The black butterfly flutters its wings there.

Birthing the butterfly effect of motion,

the tremors will stir us up, soon.

The white sun warms it's soul,

The yellow flowers eagerly share their nectar,

The brown trees sharing their branches to support its new life.

And the spots of color on it's wings -

Blue and red,

Are marks of this love.

And the black butterfly,

Flies away, free.

Image credits - Kurt Shaffer.

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Sep 26, 2020

I like that the black butterfly is free at the end.


Misha Mrinaya
Misha Mrinaya
Sep 26, 2020

Ohhh my God! The first read almost didnt register anything in my head. By the end of the second read, i could make sense of certain keywords and I was pretty stunned when it started sinking in (i should have just read the tags, my bad) ..Followed a third read with better understanding of the context and I could actually see how brilliantly you connected those metaphors to your expressions..and what you wanted your reader to picture whilst they go through the prose.. One has to savour what you write. Slowly, grasping every emotion and allowing it to make place. The kind of work where you read an author (or a poet) and his thoughts strike your core such that…


Very well written. The way you showed how the victim must have felt while going through all the pain is quite unique. Your writing is very easy to connect to, keep up the great work.

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