A while back i was wearin a floral print shirt i bought with a gift card leftover from the holidays, and found myself perspiring through another busy day, what with the excitement of life in this little city, and my sweat commingled with the pattern, the print from the inside out, and the material began to stick to my skin. i tried to tug it away from time to time, whilst talking to people about their problems, then had to take my coffee break early, smiling as i excused myself, when to my dismay i found the print had firmly rooted itself into me, and my upper body was one big floral tattoo, a colorful garden up and down my arms and fingers, across my shoulders and breasts, around to encompass my back replete! i quickly made my way, unaccosted, out a side door to exit the building, and running home from there i had many uninvited acknowledgments and gang signs flashed my way by passerbys, all in the breathless spirit of the life of ink, and finally i got over myself by a chain link fence a few blocks from where i lived. as i caught my breath in a lean i saw the clouds open up to the sun, and closed my eyes to feel the sudden warmth spread over me and fill me with a feeling i have never before known, a sorta ecstatic love! last thing i remember i was leanin more deeply into the chain link, which was giving into the weight of me, the side of my face and body getting waffled, one eye fixed within a quadrant of link. i opened it to see within, a community garden with plots for anyone who cares. i always wanted a plot of my own, beside pumpkins, green pepper and garlic. now i kinda sorta do! i seem to reside there, and they tend to me, watering and cutting me back every so often. i don’t mind my rectangular confines, so long as sun can reach me and provide the ecstatic love, here where the plot thickens, in the heart of midtown, i have lost interest in anything else.
She hid in the garden. They knew she was hiding – she always did. Supper went on when the bell tolled five. When the bell tolled six she was gone. A lady with a boy had been seen on the grounds that day whom no one had seen before. She lied to the girl and tricked her away. The boy was used to lend verity to the fable. They did not know she was loved and missed and desperately needed. They only had to have her to mend a broken circle, at the center of which was a terrible secret needed guarding.
I will bring some classical music to the backyard. There are roses bold enough to cross the chain link where the grass meets the alleyway, and yes, I have seen them stop there, stumbling drunk down the alleys in the middle of the night, clothes torn, not knowin where they’re going. The aimless ones are beautiful to me. They have the courage to live today without any direction, the courage to go wherever the streets and alleyways take them. The roses are bold and red. Dark like blood. They cross the chain link and into danger. They are beautiful to me. The sun pulled them out and into themselves, the sun moved them, the aimless ones… the roses.
I was grown from the earth, in my mother whose very life depended on the earth, the vegetables pushing out of mineral soil.
I faced the sun gave life to the plants, like another plant was i. For when the sun fell, again and again i found my head down in the dark, gaze to the ground, eyelashes a flutter then clasped shut for the night.
Many a fire came over my soul, burning through all of my being. For a time, as a child, they tried to put me out. Still i burned. Incendiary. Until natural i burned myself out.
Only the rain that emboldened the soil to create its next wonder, could put out our fires.
Like a period puts out a sentence.
Like a woman puts out a candle.
Like a man puts out a hunger.