bucketfuls of butterflies

By: Grace Toscano

real art is dipping myself in paint and throwing myself against the pavement
wow look at that stain
all the feelings away
until you darken the page and there’s nothing left to say.
(darling I miss you
baby baby
I’ll do better next time
baby I’m on my fucking knees
I’ll do better next time
whatever you want and more
just please don’t leave me here on this stained marble floor)
god the butterflies
have never actually disappeared
they’re dead in my stomach
limp and I can still feel their exoskeleton and the silk of their wings
rolling around my stomach with the pull of the waves
and they won’t leave I know that
because matter cannot be created nor destroyed
so they will sit in this graveyard with every last bit of remains
because they had to have been something else once
I didn’t have
bucketfuls of butterflies
in my chest always
or were they dormant?
cocooned and crystalized for years and years?
love is like a caterpillar
crawling around the floor like when I was a child
learning about existence
feeling the world underneath the pads of my fingers
taking in the bitterness of a leaf because it was such a lovely shade of chartreuse
continuing to feast because maybe one day
it might finally taste sweet.
the seaweed screams
there’s water in my nose
I think the tides have a mind of their own)
but the frame shifts and the picture tilts
and it’s a clean sweep of my eraser
sketching my nightmares in the daylight
come on
personify your feelings and make them into art
(I said
    I was on my knees)
mix a red as bright as her lipstick
splatter it across the pavement like blood
step back
        and admire
real art
is a fucking masterpiece.