The Butterfly’s Lament

I watch the way your fingers weave in and out of each other as you splice the wires to my brake lights together, and I picture you for a moment as a giant spider, raveling its latest catch up inside a soft cocoon of “I’ll do it tomorrows.”  I’ve never been the type of girl to fling myself so willingly upon a web and when I think of you just leaving me here, it terrifies me much more than the thought of you eating me alive.

There were so many things I used to do myself, before I met you, before the politics of love was interjected, like a slow poison.  Three years later I find that I’m paralyzed, not even sure what to do with the garbage overflowing my trashcan anymore since you’ve gone.

I buy doughnuts in the morning and they sit on top of the fridge for a week before they go stale.  The tax papers you forgot to take with you when you left fell over onto the box and I couldn’t bring myself to touch them.  Like a bacterial plague, the holes you left in my life seep out over everything new I try to bring into this house, each remnant claiming these intruders for their own.  There’s nothing left here that is mine.

I washed the sheets immediately, washed you right out of them, and bleached your piss from the front of my toilet.  I cleaned and scrubbed my manicure away, pieces of steel wool lodging shards of metal into my pruned fingertips like little fangs, and found that no amount of Windex could ever streak away the image of you standing outside in the yard with our dogs.

Your poison still rushes through my veins when I wake up in a panic each night, and in every nightmare you leave me in new and exciting ways.  You’ve left me over and over again, every day for a month, and when the boys at the bar whistle, ask me what I’m doing standing here alone, I cry instead of answering them.  Such a strange world it is to find yourself in, so many spiders fighting over the same butterfly, none of them shooting straight for the heart, an easy kill, contented instead with the dance before the catch, knowing they’ll only stay to see one season.