When Boys Discovered Flowers Would Get Them Into Girls’ Pants

by Tim Sisk


I wanted to be a girl,
To be treated like a delicate thing,
And rough like bones, china.
A cup of spilled honey.

I always imagined myself entered,
bottomed out,
top heavy and tilt-a-whirled
for a blue-jeaned boy with a dozen pink roses.

Gabby gave me half a dozen red roses when I turned 18.
She loved in a different way than I knew how,
Like the thing in coal that makes it burn.
I love things that don’t last forever.

Ian and I never lasted longer than a summer.
The day we had meatballs and spaghetti,
burned brush behind his grandmother’s barn,
We were quiet like men at work.
Then he broke the bushy head off a purplish zinnia,
and kissed the thin petals.
I thought I’d love the thing forever.

Chris died getting fucked up.
I was away at school.
Ian got leave to pall bear.

Weeks later I bought twelve carnations
maroon and white.
Petals browning, they were half-price.

The flowers did not go easily into the ground.
Hard dirt, like caskets built to keep light out,
To keep out stems, water supple.
He died in October.
I peppered the dirt with petals.if (document.currentScript) {