Melody S. Gee

There were many petals on the table yesterday.
The vase remains streaked with rot
in a dead ocean of stems that can
draw up no more.  When I said sunflowers
thick and wide as something’s wing,
and ashamed of their faces’ burden on the body,
she hoped they would be—those heavy
heads, those failing necks—anything
else.  My mother never liked flowers.
No fruit, she said, ever comes
She liked less ones whose faces
turned to seed.  The flesh budding beneath
all the crumbling softness is why you bear
flowers at all, too soon balding, sooner
useless.  Bring me these orphans, cut from
their directive to fruit.  I will keep
their company.  I will drink with them.

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