Wolves and Butterflies by Linda Simoni-Wastila

Yang to my yin, you attack my defenses, hard-wired to protect against hepatitis, Clostridium and any number of God’s afflictions. Ever vigilant, even in your latency, your troops spread from bone and lymph to destroy mine, antibodies and white blood cells. You gnaw on epidermis, feast on capillaries and nerves feeding into larger organs – tendon, kidney, liver, brain. Soon you will swallow my soul.

Every morning a new battlefield. Puffed up on prednisone, I drowse, immune to most skirmishes. Now you gather at the border of my heart, Capulets to my Montagues. But this is no mere guerilla tactic — I know, the x-rays confirm. So I shore up my armamentarium – corticosteroids, ibuprofen, Plaquenil, acupuncture – to beat back the cells you’ve suborned and inflamed.

When you claimed the sun as your friend, you almost won. I admit, I mourn the day warming my face while I sit with my morning coffee, the slant of sun through dappled leaves, the buzz of birds and insects. (I do not miss butterflies.) When I found my anger, I allied with the night. In dark safety, I shovel my holes. Children make fun of me. “Werewolf,” they whisper. But I do not dig graves, only cradles, for wolfsbane and moonflower, evening primrose and columbine. When the plants are sunk, I sit on moon-licked grass, swaddled in the earth’s loamy must and the flutter of moths, the night sounds louder than my howl.


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Filed under Linda Simoni-Wastila

7 responses to “Wolves and Butterflies by Linda Simoni-Wastila

  1. Fascinating language and perspective here. A delicious story on the first read, but there’s enough depth here to require a few re-reads.

  2. I love the battle images of wars within the body. Nice one.

  3. moon-licked grass — awesome use of language, beautiful words for an ugly war going on.

  4. Pingback: Week #20 – Rivals « 52|250 A Year of Flash

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