This is a poem about how we all get it wrong sometimes. I performed it at the poetry slam; first people didn’t like it but then they clapped.
I woke one morning and found
That my girlfriend was a
Her amber autumn wings were
Crumpled against the
And she opened one scintillating
Onyx eye and looked at the watch
And said ‘That’s the time? I must be a
Buttefly’ and brushed the sleep
From her abdomen
With our doona.
I made tea.
She took longer in the shower
Than your average butterfly
And used up all the hot water.
I drank the tea.
She devoured the gardenias
And my favourite rose.
‘So that’s it, then?’ I asked,
As she got out of my
Old grey t-shirt, which she had made
Soft by being a butterfly,
‘So that’s it – you’re dumping me?’
‘Yes’, she said, and it was raining
So hard outside it sounded like
She took a long time getting
Out the window because her legs
Were like spindly razors and
I cried into my tea and drank my tea and
And didn’t help.
And then she was gone,
And it was like the house
Had never had a butterfly
Next time I saw her, she was
On the back of a motorcycle,
Through the gale, screaming like a
Butterfly and clutching one of those
With two heads and no brain.
Then she lost a wing in a
Mortein disaster and the doctors said
She’d never fly again, so I came to visit
With my neighbour’s favourite rose.
I said how are you? and she
Shrugged and I knew she hadn’t always
Been a butterfly so I said
Were you a caterpillar
Once and she said
Yes, once, she said
When I was dating you and I said
Was it bad and she said
You don’t know any better
When you’re a caterpillar and closed
The jet discoballs of her luminous
A month later I got with a
Cicada and I hear it takes years
Till they leave the larval stage so perhaps
We’ll buy a house in Gunghalin
And raise some kids
Before she goes.