I Think I Killed a Butterfly

It’s been a long time coming, but Amina and I are back at it again! Yes, I am talking about a long overdue collaborative poem. You can check out our previous collaborations here and here.

Today’s poem was inspired by a series of events that occurred while I was driving my car, which lead to me thinking that I had… killed a butterfly.

Of course, this poem has nothing to do with those events. A very abstract response to the first line (which is actually the title to the poem). As usual, we wrote what came to us, however the previous line inspired us, letting our muses (possibly the resurrected butterfly?) take us wherever the wind blew. So interpret this poem however you like, and I hope you enjoy!

I Think I Killed a Butterfly

Broken wings
Shattered dreams
Time aloof
Time away

I spy
Abandoned Cocoons
Scattered in disarray
On abandoned tree leaves

Winter’s come
Early this season
Breath caught
On a cloud
Words that never
Passed my lips
Reached your ears
Pirouette overhead
In the breezy chill

Heart beats–
flutters. Stops–
cold. And I burrow
Myself deep
In the earth
With those who

If I dig deeper
Will I just burrow
Further into the earth
Or will I circle round
And find myself in the skies
Broken wings
Shattered dreams
Time aloof
Time away

I find myself
Inside myself
Walking paths
Yet unfinished

I am kept warm
By thoughts unspoken
Topsy turvy

Like the hungry caterpillar
who ate himself into a shell
and emerged a butterfly
soaring above
in search of death and life,
and love.

—Nortina & Amina ❤

A Great Distance

“They say butterflies can migrant thousands of miles.” She crouches over the cactus, holds her finger out, nudges for the monarch to climb aboard. “They’ll fly to the ends of the earth and never get tired.” She lightly brushes the edge of its frayed, discolored wing with her knuckle.

“That one looks like it’s traveled quite a distance.” He chisels away at the sand and sediment.

“A delicate fossil,” she draws the butterfly to her puckered lips, “guiding us to the biggest archeological discover on American soil.”

“Maybe he knows buddy inside.” He blows away dust, carefully strokes his brush inside the grooves on the roof of the sarcophagus. “What do you think these markings mean?”

“Maybe our friend here can translate.”

He chuckles a pigeon’s coo, steps back to admire his work. The ancient gravesite three quarters excavated. “It’s possible he not only traveled thousands of miles, but thousands of—”

“Years,” she whispered. She blew it a kiss, extended her arm. The butterfly lowered its wings atop the archaic coffin.

word count: 171


Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers
is a weekly challenge where you write a story in 100-150 words (give or take 25 words) using the provided photo prompt as inspiration.