What is the question you ask when the coffee is thick as blood and the radiators carry warmth like ants into the hive? I got a parcel this morning, a rare butterfly from Cerro Catedral. I must attach the Latin name. In its lifetime the butterfly would have gone a few miles – but it travelled thousands in the belly of a boat. The manservant brings a fresh mask and boots. At breakfast my wife asks what I’m doing today, she doesn’t care, it’s just words on autopilot. I know what she’ll be doing, lounging in the conservatory with the papers and moaning about the state of the world. She’s like a butterfly – beautiful but weak. If only I could drop her into the collecting jar – watch her curl back and forth. Pinned her in the chair next to that tower of newspapers, how long it would it take for the sun to fade her?
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