I know it must have started its journey as one of the most beautiful butterflies in the room, with royal blue coating the inside of its wings and owl eyes spotting the outside. But now, its wings have lost their sheen, the edges frayed, the pattern faded.
I look around me. The butterfly room at Calloway Gardens has every possible amenity: any flower, any tree, any fruit, any companion.
What have you seen of this world that makes you so unhappy? What could you even know of the outside world you are killing yourself for?
It rises and falls, a death ritual of tattered wings and frantic catapults, with an absurd silence that seems at every moment on the verge of betraying an audible gasp. It pauses only at brief intervals, alighting atop a pile of remains- its own, intermingled with fallen comrades- before starting back seemingly where it began. No progress, nothing fulfilling to show for its efforts.
I want to scoop you up, and hold you if nothing else. But you cannot afford to lose more of your precious, life-giving scales that slough off so easily at the first sign of contact. And I realize, I have no real solution, no real wisdom for you, butterfly.
I tear myself away only when I know I cannot bear to look anymore.