florida’s winter kisses

consist of rough caresses and instigate

crimson blemishes on my skin.

the sun smacks tiny freckles upon my cheeks and

gropes my shoulders for a place to leave his mark and

i have no choice but to bite my tongue.


every day is an impending molestation.

i’ve gotten to be afraid of it.

so I try not to listen to the

insinuations outside and i

stay inside in my

quiet room and listen to the white-noise of

the a/c.

i let your secrets hang in the atmosphere because

they’re too heavy for me to carry and i’d

rather let them suspend endlessly in



you used to stitch butterflies onto

the ceiling

(you still love to gaze at pinned perfections)

and i used to pretend to catch them

between my palms, boasting

wide eyes and a big, lacking-grace grin while you

ironed laundry on those bed sheets you picked up

at a yard sale down the bend.

the butterflies began to fly

frantically in elliptical orbits and i

couldn’t keep up as they spun

around my head with big, lacking-grace wings and

i called for you and the steam from the iron was

terrifying and the butterflies soared into it with big, lacking-grace confidence and i dove

for the butterflies, i dove for the butterflies,

i dove unto

the clothes iron.


there are

not enough seconds and not enough words and not enough lungs

collapsing beneath my ribs

to express to you the heat i’ve been feeling.

the searing breath of pessimism against my neck is


words swim in my hands and i want to yell, i want to yell, i want to

drown them in

the a/c.


god knows that,

if there’s one thing i’m good at,

it’s holding back the seething words

you know i’ll never breathe.

5 thoughts on “Butterfly Kisses

  1. I think this is a brilliant poem! The sentence structure emphasises certain words and images perfectly (the one of the butterflies pinned to the wall sticks out to me) but I think the lack of capitalisation at the start of the lines is really interesting! Lawrence and Plath wrote prose and used capitals, but Beckett didn’t and I think it adds a lot to the poetry (it always made me feel like ALL the words had a deliberate equality, for some reason). 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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