the dance of the lavender butterflies
by BJ Crisostomo
Lovers are blessed with the sight of those trapped between a sun which will never set and a moon which will never rise. They see surreal colors in the most ordinary of things. And how I envied them! How I needed to see the vividness of red behind every word or the blue behind the touch or the lavender in the dance of the butterflies.
In a dark corner where light does not permit the eye to see color—in a place where fools come to drown their sorrows, I held onto you like losing your grip would bleed me. I touched you like no other man would dare. My hands bore your chest, heavy from sickness. I loved you when it was I whom you asked for comfort. Yet, I had this nagging thought that it was not because of anything romantic—nothing red.
Just minutes ago, I looked at you, waiting for you to tell me that you love me. Nothing. I lost hope and cried, but pride did not allow me to you the dead pallor of my tears. I wanted you to tell me that you love me. I wanted you to tell me that you’ll always love me, that you’ll always be committed to me. God! I loved you when you pained me, bled my heart. I loved you when the almond eyes that I looked forward to each day were cold and silent. I loved you when the lips I yearn(ed) to kiss were quivering. I love you. I love you. I love you. But, I wanted you to be happy and it seemed you can’t be happy with me.
A dim light cast a blush of yellow on us. You don’t know this, but I was crying. It is hard to love someone who does not feel anything for you. I tightened my grip and I kissed your cheeks. Yellow is the light of the stage and I felt like they were dimming out. I felt like the curtains were covering you from me. I was to leave from that night as a shadow which possessed neither light nor color.
“Are you okay?” I was dumbfounded.
I did not know how to hold you so that your chest would loosen up. I did not know how to take the pain of tired lungs from you. I did not know how to tell you that holding you was like wrapping my arms around a thorny rose. I did not know how to tell you I love you. I didn’t know anything.
You told me you were fine and that you needed to walk a bit. We stood from our stupor and crossed the street, all the while I wanted to hold your hand. But holding hands is reserved only for lovers… We walked and walked until I did not know where we were. We got lost in a city of artificial lights, casting artificial colors. We stumbled into a place where black dominated the horizon. Tired, we rested on grey benches as shadows.
A cold breeze stroked your lips. The rough pavement comforted your body. I was jealous. Those were the things my body was incapable of.
“I love you,” I said.
Decided that I would leave you with those words, I tried to stand up but you held me down. You told me you loved me. We kissed, and in that kiss, I opened my eyes to see a stream of violet flying behind you. There were lavender butterflies dancing around us. Our lips danced to their rhythm. Our bodies swayed to their music. And in that dance of supernatural glow, we were lovers.