The Butterflies in Kingston are Flowers Too

Photo by Zhen Hu on Unsplash

I am half expecting the country to jump out at me.

To have dreams in which a ghost tells me I mustn’t throw mop water outside at night, or roll over a stone from where it lay, or laugh too loud and too late.

I’m expecting all the stories I’ve heard of this country to animate all at once so I leave with an imprint that ghosts are real and can get wet when you unknowingly throw mop water on them and perhaps the drying time of their clothing in that other realm is longer than my own. Perhaps they have to wait on the sun to come up for their clothes to dry because the cool Jamaica night air blows it damp against their spirit skin.

But the most fantastical thing yet has been driving on the bumpy pot-holed Kingston streets and watching as the smallest lilac butterflies land on a tree that hovers the sidewalk, blending in perfectly with the lilac flowers the tree bears. Wondering if those petals are all really butterflies and smiling at the thought.

I figure the ghosts aren’t paying me any mind because I already believe in them. The smaller things I kept no thought of jump out at me instead.



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