A/N: This is an accompanying poem to a painting I reproduced from a rather haunting post-mortem daguerreotype in black-and-white watercolours. I don't really know how to present them side by side, but here is the written part, in any case. It's in memory of my grandmother, who recently passed away.


Black Butterfly

*

Black butterfly,

Wave your wings over me

So that in darkest dreams

You may become my fairy-friend.

The burning in my throat,

The dew at my temples,

The slow drumming of my heart,

The stinging of my tepid tears.

Black butterfly,

Call on me in my crib,

You black beauty,

You infant death.

Coughing,

Weeping,

Swooning,

Sweating.

The light of my life clings to me,

And I to her breast; like an attenuated moth.

She carried me; she cradled me.

Her heart is mine, even whilst I own naught.

Trembling, I take her hand;

She sobs over my sighs,

For she shares my sight, brave heart,

Brave butterfly.

Black butterfly,

I see you now,

Locked in my black box,

An idyllic imitation of your sleek skin.

The very picture of perishability.

Take me up,

Take me up,

Please take me up:

All the way up.