first grade. i remember butterflies pinned to felt, grotesque underneath the greasy and smudged glass as we passed them around. we were told to be careful, not to drop the box and i couldn't for the life of six year old me figure out why. it wasn't like they were going to fly away.
that's where i learned about april following may with its showers and its flowers. rhymes and word association and other tricks that keep us afloat, bobbing along while we kick our feet and unintentionally bruise the fruit of each other. sometimes i wonder how exactly we do these things everyday. how we bounce around our own personal bubbles, smiling at and sometimes spitting on passersby. how we manage to live with pain and beauty and sometimes even swallow them at the same time.
sometimes i want to gnash my teeth in privileged frustration. my stress has merit, it is tangible and it is heavy and sharp and leaves marks. but it is the stress of someone who wants more. and believes it is possible.
it is the stress of someone who has every reason in the world to strive to be happy.
i remember being told once that you should not touch the wings of a butterfly because they will die. something about the oils on our skin being too heavy or just plain too much.
i'm afraid to touch her wings sometimes. i don't want to render them useless.