The Butterfly

The first time I trusted someone
It was forced out of me
Questions and demands
Insistent and probing
I was a child, a butterfly
You pinned me to a board
Of shame and despair
Delicate wings torn and bleeding
Stained, filthy gray.
No longer a she, not even an it,
a constellation of bruises
growing all the time,
A collection of breakages which
I could not find the courage
to repair.

From then onwards
I was at war to escape.
The putrid sores had their
Time, raw and itching, a
Constant reminder, until
They began to recede,
Healing around the slender
Steel weapons
That had caused them
And I was surprised to wake
One day and find an unlikely
Miracle
A drop of rainbow brightness
On petal-like gray
And with it the desire to flutter
And laugh, and be vivacious,
And the potential to spread,
A patch of fluorescent damp
On the wall between the rest
Of the world and I.

And I was no longer a child
But still a butterfly
Captured still, spread-eagled
by a mistake,
A combination of my own
Weakness and your unwavering
Intentions
But silence and strength go
So well hand in hand
And just as the impenetrable
Darkness of the tunnel
Had thrown me at first
Nothing gave me more
Pleasure than
The light
At the end of it.

The second time I trusted someone
I was safe and saved.
He admired my colors;
How could he know
That they had once been
So different?
That I had fought so hard
To abolish the gray?
He is your reciprocal
But my whole,
He holds my name in his
mouth like he is trying to
give it somewhere to
Belong.
I oblige, indulging in
The way his neck curves and
The way his eyes smile and
The simple fact that he loves
Me, the broken butterfly.

The second time I trusted someone
He unpinned me.
I flew.

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