the butterflies have left
they’ll begin their migration
i suppose this is what
instinct demands of them
they know
it is that simple
during the summer months
they’ll enjoy the bush
in our yard
we planted it for them
they’ll feast on the nectar
they are so busy doing so
i can stand just a few inches away
and they pay me no mind
then one day they’re gone
instinct told them to leave
but intuition doesn’t tell me this
i just wake one day
and notice the leaves are
shifting colors
the butterflies leave well before
but i am too busy
and notice only
when the trees are ablaze
with an intensity that screams
“look at us!”
and i do
i wonder how much
has passed me by
that did not draw my attention
that said “look at us..”
but i only heard the echo
the butterfly bush has passed
the nectar squeezed
they are en route to south america
the trees are
throwing their leaves around
wildly tossing them to the wind
when they are bare
and the butterflies
have finally arrive
maybe then i’ll eventually demand
“look at me!”
and see if you do

i don’t go to church anymore
but that’s not what
this is about
i won’t write about religion
i won’t write about
how it tore me
apart inside
or a god that
supposedly judged me
for everything
everything
no i don’t want to write
about that
i was invited to go
to church
a family friend asked
me to take her
so i did
i stood like a statue
not bitterly
not angrily
just waiting til it was over
i always found the rhythm
of a church service interesting
sitting
standing
sitting
standing
this is what i was thinking about
when an elderly couple
in front me rose for the
100th time
the woman assisted her friend
to his feet
he stood with great difficulty
slowly rising
his body curling upwards
bone by bone
maybe it was her lover
or friend
it doesn’t really matter
the gesture was so beautiful
and kind
so giving
so completely selfless
i thought
as i also rose for the 100th time
this is why i came today
to see this
it had nothing to do with god
nothing to do with
religion
it was its own religion
its own faith
within that simple gesture
was god

spring came. 
each year i wait for it,
i want it,
i am thirsty for it.
then it appears like a magic trick.
that’s how it is, right?
grey skies,
brown leaves,
dead grass.
then green –
a green – so green – so green
it’s fake.
that’s how it is, right?
we forget in the same way.
a memory with talons so deep –
so deep – so deep
it can’t be real,
then they’re gone.

then you arrive
standing there wondering
why you are in such a place
thinking;
‘why am i here?’
you take the words
you’ve been saying
the words from a language
you no longer speak
and retch them onto the earth
then step aside
and leave them there in the past

you held my hand
and gently placed your other
on my chest

respirer
you kept saying
ça va, shhh, respirer
it’s ok, shhh, breathe


when i have a seizure
i want to hide
like some animal
seeking shelter
returning to my cave
remaining hidden
until the storm passes
but you found me
you came into my cave
and found me there
in that place of fear
and vulnerability

i can only imagine
your thoughts upon
finding me
my eyes wild
full of fear
howling uncontrollably

respirer
breathe

you kept saying

with your hand upon my chest
i heard those words
echoing somewhere
in my mind
in my dwelling
in the place i run to
when seeking safety

respirer
breathe


then i returned
the storm passed

shh, ça va maintenant
shh, it’s ok now


after a seizure
the world is silent
my body is fragile
as is my heart
you knew this
without words
you understood
you kept your hand
upon my chest
and let it rise and fall
with each breath i took

shh, ça va maintenant
respirer