The Flower Shop Apartment, 1994


Tapes, as long as the threads in our heads. Up the staircase, the creaking of awkward laughs beneath our sorrows. Bullet eyes, velvet whispers on pillows of moss. His brain is disintegrating, he watches I Love Lucy, I feed him a quart of ice cream during the commercials, but he can’t remember eating anything. In his mind, all that he hides about her blooms like hothouse flowers in a crackle glass vase. He spends much of his time wondering aloud, although he already knows the answer, “If I cut the stems and replace the water, how long will that bouquet last?” He dies in bed at his home by the sea, his Min Pin whimpering by his side. Our cries fall on deaf ears, for who can fully fathom the wars within us? Reel to reel, mic to mic, an aluminum foil nosegay magnifies the steely desperation in my voice. Numb, in a state of disbelief, the night’s breeze, the rustling of leaves, everything we seek exists in shadows.

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