Butter Child

by Bryan Methods

Hold my hand – you’re not safe.

Your skin can’t take the heat

Of the lights or the burn of

Humiliation. Don’t look at

The people we meet.


Our skins are like wings

Flown too close to the sun –

A blush would kill us,

A loss of face would

Be a loss of life.

Ready to run?


Does my hand chafe

Your skin? I’m sorry. Start

Moving now. Head down. The spurn of

This society is no shame. Remember that:

You cannot melt into nothing. Your heart


Is strong enough to withstand the things

They shout. What you did was a sin,

Against their natures. The fuss

They kicked up was because of the knife

You had. And… her life had just begun…


The child unchilder and his mother

Fled from the court. Each mechanical shutter

And blistering flash gave yet another

Headline photograph. The camera-stutter

Recorded their flight, but they had no angel-wings to flutter.

The boy, as he cried, wished to melt like butter.