He called me mariposa,
as if my chrysalis had disappeared
overnight, its wispy tendrils drooping,
then falling away into shadow.
He called me gentle bird,
as though my song was sugar-sweet
and soft, a moist whisper cast aloft
into remnants of dusk.
He called me beloved,
as if his tender words
would shame any onslaught of tragedy,
somehow keep me safe from sorrow's clutches.
He called me querida,
as though such fervent declarations
could make a thousand miles evaporate,
bring me to his distant shore.
He calls me his only, his own -
I answer his embrace by gathering
succulent flowers into a fragrant harvest
to leave scattered upon our doorstep,
perhaps to delay the coming of darkness,
perhaps to hasten the arrival of dawn.