An explosion of yellow erupts from the crystalline vase – Daisies and roses and sunflowers. The yellow is so bright and so profound that if I were hungover, I would surely get sick, right there on this nicely vacuumed Persian rug; Just yak all over it, apologizing and asking for water but my head spinning like a county fair amusement park ride, so much so that I can’t even offer to clean it up. Feeling pathetic. Bouquets being thrown to the concert pianist, being thrown backwards by the bride on her wedding night, the reception in the party hall, walls painted and wallpapered a pristine white; The food smells good, the cake looks amazing. Flowers on the foot of a grave, given obligatory fashion at graduation. I cradle them like a child. They smell sweet and fresh and will undoubtedly make me sneeze. But mothers get happy when their child accomplishes something; The flowers seal the deal. The stems are firm and strong and need to be cut so they can drink up the water in the vase. The supermarket flowers come with powdered plant food. All you have to do is sprinkle it in. Flowers go from bud to burst. Patient stop-motion photography. The magnolia tree. The mess of petals. Seasons don’t last but always change. I wish I knew how to garden. Then I could grow and arrange my own bouquets. I wish there was something nice or meaningful about deliberately staying in a town you’ve outgrown. One day these flowers will die and I’ll have to throw them away, rinse and wash the vase and put it away. We know this. Bouquets of flowers at funerals and accompanying sympathy cards. Beauty distracts, but death is forever. These petals will fall like these people lost their life. It’s hard to forget that floral smell mixed in with whatever else wafts through the air at the funeral home. It’s not a place one wants to stay, it’s not a place to hangout. It is an obligatory pitstop. And we pay our respects, sign the guest book, kneel in front of the body and make the sign of the cross. Try to pray, but get so distracted by the human body preserved. It looks like unreal art. A sculpture or really good wax figure about the sit up and come to life. But she never does. Those clothes picked out for last rites are still on the body, in the ground, in the wall. They are cold. And I wonder if the laborers who made them knew that’s where they were going to. Foot pulse against the pedal of the Singer sewing machine chewing a piece of gum saying, “Yes indeed, this navy blue dress is going on a dead body. You sure as hell know it is”.

Author: Roe

she/her. Songwriter & Trek Punk Soul™.

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