My chest is hollow where butterflies roam, but they want to escape from the live grenade that shares the space. Constantly ticking with the uncertainty of when everything will finally ignite my trigger and my pieces will blow, along with my cover. My heart tries to become a shield, but the tenderness says no, and these butterflies with their fragile wings have yet to experience the flight of all they could be, because of me. I try to release them with the poetry in my vocal chords but they always stay to hear the music of the finale they think they can dance to. But there’s no music. There is only the swirling panic of a breath that’s never deep enough followed by the slow exhale of where fear should exit immediately. It never does. It gets lost somewhere between the butterflies and the grenade, expanding itself until the butterflies are asking for cocoons to hide in and I forget how to breathe. I wonder about the moment this grenade will stop holding its breath, if it will remember all the poetry and if the poetry will remember me. I hope one day I can see the butterflies dance for me before they fly away.
-Stephanie Bennett-Henry © 2016