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The Reverse Metamorphosis Of A Mourning Cloak

She’s covered with mourning cloak butterflies when he collects her in his pickup on the run from rehab. They flutter from her chapped lips, come to rest on torn vinyl. He passes her a soiled napkin, one that’s stuck together with a smear of ketchup, and she wipes her mouth. “Can you take me somewhere to score?” she asks. The butterflies come to a standstill, line the rim of the passenger window. She cranks down the glass and a steady stream of maroon wings, their edges a ragged yellow, arc into the wind. “Let’s go back to my apartment,” he says. # The coffee table is void of mirrors, the counters clear of candles and spoons. The space smells of pine and bleach, not of burning plastic. She drops onto the couch, curls into a ball. He slides in behind her, wraps an arm around her belly. There’s an edge to her curves, a layer of sadness on her bones. “I’ve missed you,” he says. She shakes her head, her body jittery. “Maybe if I had a fix. Just a little bit.” “We can do this,” he says. “You can do this.” “I can’t,” she whispers. A group of mourning cloaks funnel through the heat vent, come to rest on the mantelpiece. With each minute that passes, another one flings itself into the fire. “Don’t go,” she cries. “Stay with me.” She reaches out to grab one, to give herself a chance, but silk secretes from her lymph nodes and, before long, she’s fallen asleep.

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Issue 5  
Issue 5  

Welcome to the fifth issue! Riggwelter keeps rolling on. This issue contains poetry, short fiction, visual art and experimental media by: Je...

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