the town has exactly two girls like me on the porch next door they pop up ( One, Two ) One takes fingers to Two’s head pulls at a small dead petal fallen from flower baskets the long stretch strand of hair purple shock unravels slow falls with intent they giggle so high petals snap off every impatiens drifts to my scalp One and Two are drawn near pick from hair in dozens violetdrops in summertime with the sweat beads dangling collarbones sweetas crisp flowerflesh a woman in the grocery line looks my way a tick too long how to meet underside of her palm the girls now come every day hairknotted violet Two falls to One’s shoulder watch my fumbling keyscratch lock those girls ( mother says ) what are they up to I speak silence fluently

planting impatiens each evencusp thready silkroots fingerstitching home to bagged soil plastic box there are spaces we don’t speak of church backs growing only weeds a train track’s edge stars longing to be daylight the moment only leaning toward the riverrush of her breath I once believed the flowers alive dreaming up prisms light fluorescence & houseflies



Image: Tony Alter – Flickr: Little Beauties (Orange Jewelweed – Impatiens Capensis), CC BY 2.0