There are butterflies in my skull,
A brewing storm of silken wings
As they emerge one by one from their cocoons –
The crepuscular hulls in which they spend most of their days,
Tenebrous prisons hanging from the emaciated branches
Of the forlorn, termite-infested neural tree.
I rejoice at the colors the butterflies bring –
The amethyst, cerulean, emerald, crimson, amber.
They illuminate the wasteland as they stretch their wings of prismatic splendor.
The inside of my skull is a frayed canvas –
Just ashen shades of desolate bone.
But the butterflies’ flight will paint the cadaverous murk;
They will compose a symphony of colors and words,
Each wing-beat its own orchestra.
This flurry of life and color they effortlessly bestow –
Ginger, lavender, saffron, magenta, pearl –
Is vivid, striking, eloquent like nothing that exists in the outside world.
Luminous wings, tipped in teal and tawny articulation, massage the river of thought
(Whose fingertips quiver unsoundly in the reservoir of cognition),
From a bleak drought to what it once was:
The cascade of ideas, the rumbling waterfall (not quite yet roaring again)
Of youthful ambition, the reliable little stream of intuition.
Such depth, expanse, intensity;
It fires the nerves, heats the blood, electrifies the skin,
Loosens the tongue, sharpens the eyes.
And I feel like a living, breathing human again.