Choke on Butterfly Wings.

by Olivia Bolling

She walks by.

Pretend-play naive but

denial is a splintering distraction.

Butterflies fill stomach  

like parasites.


All consuming

can’t think straight.

Hurts to feel them.

Are not monsters

I am.

Insides swarm;

Didn't realize how empty it's been.  

Calculate each move.

Want to look—


Glance is spectacle.

Scenes draw attention.

Survive in darkness

I keep them hidden.

Eat away at me:

the price of secrets.

Whisper to them in loneliness—  

they know.

Only ones.

Insides churn.

To slow fluttering:

Hold breath.

Eat lies.

Drink hate.

Despite my cruelty,


Refuse to rot.

Maybe for my sake?

—ignore response

will never know.

Swallow tongue.

Swallow heart.

Gag on faith.

Creatures do not belong here;

Deserve light

Deserve praise

Deserve anything…

more than this.

She grins!

Heart stops.

Lungs pound.

Want to die looking at her—

Never admit.

Want her air—

Never admit.

Want her.

Stuck in throat.

Choke on butterfly wings,


Throat to hand

saliva drenched wing.

Iridescent through blurred vision,

bright blue

like her eyes—


How could I hate something so beautiful?

Thumbnail image by Sabrina Sanchez and Emmaline Waller.