Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Forty
Spring 2016
 
100 RETROGRADE FLOWERS
Val Dering Rojas

Vulnerable, unbathed, like coriander and curry,
like the briny boat slip, the red algae bloom of your beach town.

You: talking, all scurrilous hurricane. Me: three days on a whiskey bender
and it was possible nobody was ever in the room. I’m not certain

of this story’s progression, but think of voices like watching a drain. The way
water is constantly circling, the way, with water, it’s impossible to see

any distinct line. Or think of mad dancing, in some accelerated silent film, the actor’s
black lips, lit by lack of a ceiling. I mean, I look for the agreeable, the splendid even,

any possible value in anything– in the enormous bouquet of Dutch Master-esque
tulips, peonies, roses, carnations, in the tuberose, veronica, hops,

the butterfly and bumblebee, the peaches and the grapes. The blue Dutch door
of our home, ajar, the light from outside like the Earth has been dipped

in apricot frosting. And all that figment from some flowers maliciously texted to my phone.
I am only thinking of you because Mercury is in retrograde again, and nothing

is affected this time, no boozy jag or malevolent word-play,
only my lingering fantasy of someone saying

I should send you some flowers today–
and meaning it. Forget how the planets are aligned.

About Val Dering Rojas

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