One morning upon the break of dawn
she was alone in an open meadow,
grieving the loss of all she held dear,
when there appeared a most colorful fellow.
She watched him descend from the purple sky,
his visage was prismatic through her tears.
His wings shining brightly in the moonset
as she struggled for a composed veneer.
Alighting on a crystal bead of dew
that was balanced atip a blade of grass,
he bowed his head to her regally,
asking earnestly, “What has come to pass?”
She curtsied, feathery antennae swept low,
her brown lace wings flared at their articulation.
The whole of her shivered tremulously.
She saw herself small in his estimation.
“This night I have lost all whom I loved,” she moaned,
‘to leathery wings and gossamer of spider.
They were taken away one after another,
gone … my mother, brother, sisters and sire.”
She watched as his wings wilted, crestfallen.
With a light hop he was at her side.
“I am so sorry for your loss,” he said.
Tears of empathy he did not try to hide.
“Pray, why were you flying in the darkness?
Night is no time for such a lovely creature.
We Butterflies are meant to paint the day,”
he said preening, admiring his features.
“I must be off now, ere gold gilds the east.
I am obliged to you, but needs must rest anon.
I am no Butterfly, but a Moth of the night,”
with a graceful beat of her wings she was … gone.
Against all reason and logic he was bereft,
his world of flowers had drained of its color.
Sweet perfumes and nectars, once intoxicating,
now suddenly smelled and tasted much duller.
He waited well past dusk for her to reappear,
found her adding her tears to a mirrored pool.
He bid her, “Good Eve,” with an incandescent smile.
Her reception was little more than cool.
At length he apologized for his ignorance,
said he found her beautiful and a bright spirit.
“I must take my leave before nightfall,” he said.
She was indifferent, as if she didn’t hear it.
Alone in the night woods she knew loneliness.
She craved his company as much as her family’s.
At dawn she rushed to the meadow to find him,
“Pray forgive me. May we start over, if you please?”
So they danced into the sky together,
spent each night and day together on the cusps.
They knew they had loved one another forever,
and knew that they would always for they must.
Then one morning he missed their rendezvous,
and the next day, and for a cycle of the moon.
Her hope was flagging; she knew he must be … gone.
In her despair she just wanted all ended and soon.
Mesmerized by candleflame, she flew directly in,
her immolation little more than a spark.
He saw her death as he came to explain to her.
This Gypsy whom he loved so well … gone, a flash in the dark.
He distanced himself from earth, tried to flee his mortal wound.
Blinded by insufferable pain, he flew into the sun.
In coruscation, he welcomed Apollo’s fatal embrace.
The spirits of the two, become one, and now … gone.
M. Zane McClellan
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