She Couldn’t Stand Cut Flowers, So I Bought Them in the Hopes that She Would Haunt Me
I hear that life is where love waters hurt, those thirsty flowers.
And death is where love presses petals —
the shapes of heartbreak — into rock.
That something the flowers once lent to the eye might last,
except that nothing lasts: might linger.
Might manifest: the look you gave me
when you saw in us the house we hadn't yet built,
your head in my lap as I sat with my back against the couch,
my ass numb on the cold, hard floor. We planned every inch:
the foyer, bedrooms, kitchen, greenhouse, gardens,
orchard, dog runs, disability contingencies,
but we didn't plan on your heart failure before the down payment.
Every shop in town that sells flowers, I bought them out.
Wanted to fill our bedroom, floor to ceiling.
It takes more flowers than you'd think.
The florists cry when they see me coming.
I cry when they tell me they have other customers to consider.
How can they exist on such a thin gruel of passion?
I learned the hard way: flowers don't stay floral.
After a month: putrefaction and rot.
I swear: it smells like they shit themselves.
The stench could knock a man down.
And that’s why I sleep in there, desperately searching
for anything — anything — left in me to knock.
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