“Butter Determination” — Djibril Branche ’19

A forlorn stare, a hand full of butter
Unsure on whether there’s a top, he begins climbing
The one thing left of him is revenge
Although his poker face is impressive he knows he’s not up to grade
He never stays long, for he’s but a tourist
He continues the journey, heart pounding in his ribs

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He remembers the children, their endless ribs
His confusion consuming all but the melting butter
His thoughts are scattered, even in his own mind he’s just a tourist
But no matter, for he keeps climbing
Despite the challenge being of the highest grade
He endures, thinking only of revenge


For what deed is he seeking revenge?
He knows not in his mind, but in his rib
He finds a small alcove upon reaching the latest grade
There’s nothing on his mind but Her
Tired and with chafed hands he ceases his climbing
Alone and in an unfamiliar place he once again becomes a tourist


He hates this, the uncertainty that seeps through every aspect of being a tourist
He stops for a moment, he ponders his revenge
He wonders why it subsides along with his climbing
He realizes that his heart is no longer trying to burst out of its cage of rib
Frightened by this, he clutches his chest with a hand soaked in lukewarm butter
If for nothing else but to distract himself, he resumes the climb up, and up the grade


With each endless step he traverses the grade
Scared of the uncertain fate that comes of being a tourist
He slides up the terrain with clammy appendages of melted butter
Every step brings him a small bit closer to his revenge
But his desire wavers within the small lump between his ribs,
And for the first time he questions his climbing


His purpose forgotten he stops climbing
But as he slides down the uneven grade
He notices that not moving at all equals moving backwards and
Something odd swells up in his rib
Another unfamiliar feeling, another moment as a tourist
But as he slides downward, his revenge all but forgotten, His head collapses into hands and in the
space between fingers flows a stream of tears and viscous butter


The Children create stories about him, about the climbing tourist
About his revenge and the grade he climbed
About the feeling in his ribs, and the hands inexplicably cloaked in butter