Butterfly, in Black and White

Yesterday,
before the fist-prints
made their way onto the walls
of the gallery as a show of solidarity,
there was a moment,
one of those small simple yet powerful
moments which are easily dismissed or overlooked.
Me, and my partner,
were waiting for the people to arrive,
to literally lend their hands
as a testament to love and support,
when I saw a gorgeous black and white
butterfly
dancing in flight in front of the gallery.
I felt thrilled and touched by sighting of this beauty,
by its gentle breezy coronation of what was going to happen.
Its visit lasted about twenty seconds,
as it would flutter away, then circle back,
and out of all the photos I would snap
on this day, this one I didn’t,
which I’m now glad of,
as the incident scoreditself in my heart,
a moment, a revelation, the seeds of a poem
waiting to know itself.
When the butterfly left,
I had no idea what the rest of the day
would bring, or be like,
but I felt good inside, as if a secret had been implanted within,
owed to this living sacred symbol of metamorphosis.
Listen: Metamorphosis is hard.
And painful.
It hurts like hell
to let go of parts
to which we feel fiercely attached,
protective of, or to which we cling
in maintaining conditions and a fixed identity.
Transformation is no walk in the park.
And yet, it brings with it necessary ceding,
and room for true breathing.
That is why, you can look to the person next to you,
or the person next to them, or someone a state or country or lifetime away,
you can look within, and say—Fuck, metamorphosis is kicking my ass,
but we’re in this together, right?
Know these words as a seal, as a sacrosanct bond and rhyme.
And get on with it.
Same as that black and white butterfly
which started as caterpillar,
that age-old story and legacy of metamorphosis
that speaks to us all in terms clearly understandable.
Caterpillar to butterfly.
Divided to united.
It sounds like a crazy dream,
but that’s what makes it so damned marvelous,
it asks more of us
than what me might be telling ourselves
is real or possible.
And if that black and white butterfly
that graced our event of solidarity yesterday
can somehow hear this poem,
I want to say—
Thank you for showing up,
as a blessing undisguised.

About John Biscello

Originally from Brooklyn, NY, writer, poet, spoken word performer, and playwright, John Biscello now lives in Taos, New Mexico. He is the author of three novels: Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale, Raking the Dust, and Nocturne Variations, and a collection of stories, Freeze Tag. His fiction and poetry has appeared in: Art Times, nthposition, The Wanderlust Review, Ophelia Street, Caper, Polyphony, Dilate, Militant Roger, Chokecherries, Farmhouse, BENT, The 555 Collective, Instigator, Brass Sopaipilla, The Iconoclast, Adobe Walls, Kansas City Voices, and the Tishman Review. His blog--Notes of an Urban Stray--can be read at johnbiscello.blogspot.com. Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale was named Underground Book Reviews 2014 Book of the Year.
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1 Response to Butterfly, in Black and White

  1. Matthias says:

    Liked by 1 person

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