Butterfly Spirit

I lost you
when, in my vanity
I made your majesty
another accomplishment of mine.

when, in my jealousy,
I brusquely plucked you stem from root, zealously collected you like some new addition to a childish, plastic Zoo.

when, in my delusion,
I sought to steal your butterfly Spirit from the wilderness, chasing in you the beauty of my own reflection.

when, in my hubris,
I set you apart, an exception, special and unique in my collection, preserved in my possession, isolated under the glass prison of my protection.

when, in my arrogant lust,
devil-dressed and deftly masked,
I devised a web cage casket

when, in my ignorance,
from unknown depth I heard myself
sing halcyon lullabies
conspiracies of desire
disguised in blessings of
lurid praise and compliment,

when, in my astonishment,
lured beguiled by greed
to fill some childish ego need,
fed you on a diet of best intentions,
a syrup of secrets I keep from myself,
in the darkness of my self-deception,
but surreptitiously crafted all along
to prevent your escape,

when in my selfish passion,
I cast myself in an imagined lake of satisfaction, soaked you in classification, drowned you in definition, cast you in a mold of idealization, and sealed you in a tomb of cold oppressed domestication

when, in my hopeless panderings,
clarion siren songs like Saturn’s rings,
ravaging with wild delight the serenity of your restless, untamed night by piercing rays of gaslit lantern-light, and, once amassed and then dismantled by my measured gestures
sly and charming, all your wards, alarms, and warnings, my weakness wrested you from your guarded nest.

And though you were, at first, so well content to be so treasured, at last and vastly, to fullest extent of your worth, to be owned, posessed, and cherished to excess. And, in my defense, I obsess over even now the clovered earth on which once you rested. The butterfly Spirit I found in you still meets me there, when I’m alone, though you taught me it does not belong to anyone.

I realize now, I lost you then,
the moment when
I sought to make you mine.

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