From the Chrysalis Said the Butterfly

Nakachi Clark-Kasimu

“You are my universe. You are my love.” — James Taylor, "There We Are"

“But no more grey mornings. I think I'd rather die.” — James Taylor, "Another Grey Morning"

you breath

you jasmine

you honeysuckle nap in the afternoon

you possibility unbuckled you point of it all

you sweet dream

you holy tongue you shimmering ankle

you tinkling fingertip along my jaw

you touch you whisper

you song


damn you


did they taste us somewhere on the salted rim of joy

did we embarrass sorrow

did we go too far

did our yes terrify the universe

were we too impossible

that she had to vomit us up to feel better

did we cut the lip of a fear that thought it had us

did we rend the shroud between epochs

were we too ancient too sacred too sound

did we wake the terrified neighbors into hope

did we stir an army of eternal gladness that would not wait

did we take the streets, did we rob the city


don't let them have us

don't let them take us a way that is not our way

don't rip your name from my chest

do not take the sight of your eyes in heat from above me

not sorrow not us not this wait

baby, don't be that way


you scream from the belly of night you

you judgment from a silent god you

you free fall from the precipice you

you crumpled flesh you you shattered bones you

you hated morning you

you endless day you useless flight

you prison of ache

you last chance

you purpose you point of it all

you loss you emptiness you trembling weeping goodbye


did the chrysalis know the butterfly she made would split her open and leave her

that they would marvel at the wings

and never look to the home

torn and hollow on the ground

did she look up before some crow lifted her from the ground

did she pray to be of use again before she got carried away

and when he heard her and laughed his goodbye

before they could get high enough for her to fly

did she say


don't be that way


* Nakachi Clark-Kasimu is a poet, singer, and a spiraling wind living in Oakland, California.