Joey, the aunty who works at the flower shop 

I know you know,
Summer hat of yours indoors
Cover greys.

I know you know
Why you leave notes on my shifts
Like rotten water that splashes onto my white shirt
Baking a familiar scent.

I know you know
Loneliness has been flowers galore
For though they’ve spoken your heart
They cannot speak to your heart.

I know you know
How imminent death is
With each white petal you pluck
From a rose, a carnation.
The smell of clean glass
And fresh water sparkles.

I know you know
That I know
How these flower babies
Birthed from your open wrinkled palms
Towards God.

Dogged devotion.

Because each step you’ve taken
A rose thorn incisored into your slipper
And cries echo into the dead night.

The next morning,
I know you know
It’s time to breath black pollen
With green, evergreen flowers again.


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