SHOTGUN BUTTERFLY

It cut through the air
A knife had never been so sharp.
Nobody saw it coming
They were too busy milling around in the light.

There was a crater in the ground
Blown into the earth with fire and sunder
Brittle and harsh under the toes
A tree sat there growing.

It gets you when you’re young
And you’re unafraid.
Each tiny branch reaching up like arms to someone they’re sure of
But people snap them off
Each snap rips her apart.

This is not my life.
It feels like someone else’s.
A girl in a moving circle of others
Dead inside.
Dead inside.
DEAD INSIDE.
DEAD INSIDE.

Ask her what colour her heart was
When she turned over that day in the sun.
Before she shied away and crumbled
Ask her where her eyes wandered
Before she shrank and set to stone
Quietly.

Damp mosses creeping over stone like green blankets.
Dressed in shame.
Dressed in rage.
Dressed in panic.

Remember to breathe.
I can’t breathe.
She can’t breathe.
We can’t breathe.
Hold your breath.

Hold your breath and fall from the edge of an age that left you to spill between the cracks and fade.