FLOWERS

I am haunted.

The flowers that I plucked from the garden,

to mark some legacies,

have become garlands,

arranged for the beloved,

fallen bird whom I buried,

his face down under the shrubberies,

entranced by his final sleep and an

eternal dream-hour.

And petals drip and drop,

falling into open mouths

as family names leave with the nip in

the air,

far beyond cosmic dilemmas.

I am haunted

because my departed bird has left his

body

and flown over the tip of the temple,

as I imagine,

uncaged and free among the

evergreens, the river.

In the spot below the dead flowers,

where I buried him,

is where his still wings sleep.

**

There was a garden there,

some unfinished moulds of potteries

lay in a neat column,

with roses meant to fill their round,

filigreed bodies

and we promised to fill them each

with mud

and practice some gardening of our

own.

**

I put some dead flowers pressed together,

in cellophane sheets,

take them home,

wash them clean,

to watch them wither and be blown away,

like charred paper;

and then muse with an elegy in my soul,

for their asphyxiated last breaths

before I saw them hence.

For flowers grow out,

for the decorousness of experience,

the euphoria of youth,

for the silence in which we caressed

each other’s bodies with rose petals.

Some grow, shrivel or are inflamed in

electric crematoriums,

with sagging, wrinkled last sighs

and their scents and faint colours

limn bones in the last sounding of the conch.

**

Flowers are the only ones who make

an appearance,

on tables where Grandma kept them,

to adorn her morning tresses,

to use their fragrance to press

together our spirits buoyed by smell.

On that very table are her spectacles,

little, inconspicuous microscopes

that read between the lines,

to find multiple histories embedded within.

Everything haunts me now,

because flowers carry their scents

from twoscore years before,

hidden in cupboards and strangled by

spines of books nobody reads

anymore.

It haunts me

because I have left little flowers

everywhere for clues.

The question is,

what messages will I be leaving

behind with them

as discovery is yearned for now?

My flowers make do with that anticipation.

***

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