Of death and fake flowers

 There’s something horribly ugly about fake flowers. Even the most beautifully crafted, true-to-real flower can’t escape the obscenity true to every fake flower. What is that obscenity? What is that unignorable ugliness? It is how they are vacant of change; how they do not age, and come to eventual death. Their never-ending plastic poise, or paper composure, is precisely the reason why fake flowers can never truly be beautiful. 

This brings us to the question—Can there be beauty without death? If you knew that something would be there forever, perpetually, would it still be beautiful? Would you want to breathe it all in right now, if you knew it’ll be there waiting tomorrow, day after, and after…? There can be no beauty without death. Because, the one and only true sign of life—the very premise of all things love and beauty—is death itself. 

1917, Sadie Singer at the Beston Floral Supply Co. Hine, Lewis Wickes; National Child Labor Committee Collection.

Green is the anecdote to grey

Today—a day that is supposed to be sunny according to the weatherman—is accidentally grey.
Today is sitting on me, breathing heavy like an old grey goat whose skeletal ribs I feel on my back. 
I couldn’t believe that it’s here, and it’s grey
and that it has the audacity to sit on my skin and bleat 
reminding me that, some days—maybe most days—the benefits of being in society are clearly outweighed 
and you can’t even rely on something as mundane 
as a report on the weather today.

But then, a new leaf on a coconut palm saved me.
I saw it come out gloriously green
long, thin lines glimmering,
beating new in the wind;
so thick with spring,
so deliriously living,
for the sake of breathing,
knowing nothing else, absolutely nothing else, 
but the deliciously green will to be.
It won against the grey goat of a day, 
and now I’m convinced that
green is the anecdote to grey.

2012, palm leaf. Closed Book.

Some days

Some days, it becomes clearer that everyone is out for themselves in the end.

Some days, the fragility of relationships becomes so plain 
that it seems foolish to walk down the road lined with homes and hands beckoning.

Some days, the shallowness of what we call love becomes so plain that time spent searching for it seems so painfully pointless.

Knowing this, it’s hard to pour your soul into someone else;
because it’ll most probably get left out in the rain, or alone and deranged.

Knowing this, it’s hard to tell your children that the world is a beautiful place; and that even the last good things left standing—like friendship, love and family—would surely amount to something magnificent.

1814, Poems of life in the country and by the sea. Benjamin Francis. Muskegon, Mich, The Library of Congress via the Sloan Foundation