chrysalisI wake up with the sunrise everyday now. I make Jenny coffee and I sit outside to watch the horizon brighten. I have a particular chair I sit in. This a few hours after my Middle Awakening, when I’m up at one o’clock for an hour before settling back into bed.

A caterpillar has made its way up my chair, a bannister variety of chair with scroll arms and a rustic finish. The caterpillar made a chrysalis where its body will emulsify before being reformed, essentially liquefying itself before re-emerging more delicate and built of paper. More beautiful, like the magenta bougainvillea sepals that brighten our windows, else the poppies that have since bloomed.

Jenn was first to notice the cocoon and wrote to me: the caterpillar spinning itself with silk is not a metaphor, but a literal thing, an ornament on my chair, grey and comma-shaped and something saw-toothed.

But it is a metaphor. I insist.

I’ve been told I look younger these days, a Benjamin Buttons transformation, and more on butterfly wings than on spines. In being so, I feed on nectar now, and my fragility is less important that I am no longer an earth-bound thing.

A metaphor of metamorphosis. Both words from the Greek: the former meaning ‘to transfer’, the latter meaning, ultimately, ‘to transform.’

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