We were lucky with the dahlias, turning up
just in time to see them stretch the last curve
from their stem, lathered in petals. Given the chance,
we wouldn’t bother with cutlery but take them apart
in handfuls and swallow them whole. We’d only have
a few minutes to get ourselves somewhere safe then,
before the efficient capsule of their beauty entered
our bloodstream releasing a whole host of side effects;
a few minutes before the cups of our ears were honeyed.
Then even the crows would stop complaining and join
the evening’s new choir of proposals. And how could
we refuse? Aren’t memories hollow stems we use as pipes
to smoke our stories? The only safe place would be
with the other dahlias, crouching to hide our soft stomachs,
the angle of our elbows. At first they’d balk—we smell
so loudly of doors and keys — but I’d like to think we’d persist
by flowering in the proximity of such royal silence.

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