In his stomach, he once tended white blooms like jewelry that adorned bushes in a garden greener than envy. They floated down and lay on the ground one long winter, rotting into the brown earth. The moths fed on the leavings just like the butterflies that once drew vigor and beauty from flowers just as alive with color.
Earth is the eternal color on Earth like green is in Heaven. All other colors are temporary flashes of mortality that fade into oblivion with a brevity that is rarely understood until it passes. The white flowers were succinct feelings lost before their time, a demise mirrored in William Blake’s rhetoric about the impermanence of all things alive in the Book of Thel,
Why fades the lotus of the water,
why fade these children of the spring, born but to smile and fall?
A reluctant ghost of fluttering still lingered, but they were not butterflies any longer. They were only moths that quivered quietly, masquerading as butterflies in his stomach, his silent womb like an overgrown tomb. A rotten stench of the forgotten trailed in their wake, awash in the nasty smell of yesteryear. They were not butterflies.
The butterflies that brought news of anemophily long since passed on, the moths pronounced the verdict of maggots on his decaying happiness, a life of creation inevitably giving way to a slow and apathetic desolation. The man lay idly on his back like a shadow of stone likenesses resting atop the sarcophaguses of old kings.
A butterfly landed with inimitable lightness on the edge of the gaping chasm in his torso, somewhere near where his heart would have been. It was borne away by the wind in moments, as the moths fluttered inside as strongly as their beautiful cousins outside.
Like a casket, blossoms on vines covered his ragged form, burying him from the world. The man is already gone, there is nothing left. His final act brims with irony, in his journey back into a Nature that took him by the laws of transience that no living thing can appeal. Butterflies departed on the breeze, only moths remain, keeping safe the memory of being forgotten.