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  Aug 2015 ED
Walt Whitman
I sit and look out upon all the sorrows of the world, and upon all
    oppression and shame;
I hear secret convulsive sobs from young men, at anguish with
    themselves, remorseful after deeds done;
I see, in low life, the mother misused by her children, dying,
    neglected, gaunt, desperate;
I see the wife misused by her husband—I see the treacherous seducer
    of young women;
I mark the ranklings of jealousy and unrequited love, attempted to be
    hid—I see these sights on the earth;
I see the workings of battle, pestilence, tyranny—I see martyrs and
I observe a famine at sea—I observe the sailors casting lots who
    shall be ****’d, to preserve the lives of the rest;
I observe the slights and degradations cast by arrogant persons upon
    laborers, the poor, and upon negroes, and the like;
All these—All the meanness and agony without end, I sitting, look out
See, hear, and am silent.
ED Aug 2015
Ask him about the first time we met.
He will tell you,
eyes bright,
that I made him laugh
so hard
that his ribcage cracked open,
releasing a generation of butterflies
he kept hidden for so long
I may never know
who hatched them there.

Ask him about the songs I sing.
He will tell you,
in a familiar tune,
that I make pythons dance.
My vocal chords are marionettes
that turn ballerinas into puppets
whose feet never touch the ground.

Ask him about my bedroom.
He will tell you,
counting off of his fingers,
that the shelves are stacked and rickety
the vanities empty
and the lamp, a glowing green,
casts shadows of butterflies.
He will tell you that there are two broken clocks
under glow in the dark stars
and a table of sketches
eraser dust
and matchsticks.

Ask him about the sketches.
Ask him about the shelves.

Ask him about my poetry.
A muted mouth with a severed tongue will tell you
that there are hundreds,
written on the insides of my palms
But they've been caged fists
since my heart  first opened
and there is not a single joke
that could make me laugh
hard enough
to set free the crushed chrysalids
that I've been holding
since I discovered butterflies.
This poem accompanies my other written piece, "The Boy and His Butterflies", which would explain the similar titles and the constant usage of butterfly metaphors. Happy reading! - E.D
ED Aug 2015
The first time I tripped,
It was over the shoe laces
of a boy with hazel eyes
and Venus fly trap lashes.

When he laughed,
I saw a thousand butterflies
leave his mouth
like a confetti explosion.

Captivated by this winged downpour,
I sought to release every single butterfly
from the cages of his ribs;
Until they filled the spaces of grey planes,
which followed every cynic’s footsteps,
and pollinated every flower
of a dying breed.

My world became a kaleidoscope
of time and colour
where I could no longer distinguish
sunrise from sunset.

Careless of the clock’s limit,
I took its hand and spun circles
within the butterfly boy’s garden
foolishly forgetting
that neither butterfly nor boy
were creatures for all seasons.

So when the first red drop of tomorrow
fell from a tree,
The swarm of colours flew south
taking with it, my kaleidoscope lenses
and the boy;
Still, with his shoe laces undone
and his insides
a nest of larvae.
He never came back and I never found out who gave him the butterflies in the first place. - E.D
ED Aug 2015
It’s not about the hand you were dealt with,
It’s about how you play the hand you were dealt with.

Imagine that the hand you were given
attached to fingers
with blistered pads and splintered prints
that wound in swirls of blood soaked skin.
Imagine, that the nails of each finger
crucified you to stars
willing you to brighten the night
for children who fear the dark
regardless of your burns.
Imagine, that your palms
were crumpled pieces of paper
stuffed into the back of a trash bin
on fire,
the burning smell of garbage and secrets
indistinguishable from one another.

Some people,
they are given hands lined with rings;
diamonds, silvers, and golds
not a single callous and well-manicured.
Some people,
they are given boneless pieces of plastic
that fail to do so much
as curl and unfurl themselves:
hands that are growing desperate to feel
the things they touch.
Some people,
they are given scabbed knuckles
that shake so bad
they can only find comfort
in scratching themselves henna tattooed scars;
digging six feet into their skin,
creating burial sites out of their own bodies.

Tell them anyway,
It’s about how you play the hand you were dealt with.
It may never make a winner out of them
But it will keep them from leaving the game entirely.

— The End —