Life isn’t hard
I just make it that way.
Forging feelings even though they’re soft flowers.
Necks craned towards the sun, most people pluck each other for fun,
but you found it all rather rotten.

Did you know
I can only keep succulents alive?
Ripped raw, it tears me up.
My mind makes my own eyes water.
Hummingbirds sneeze when they come near me,
the butterflies faint, and the bees have hives,
but you made it all look so easy.
Through the glass speckled with dried raindrops
I watched you mothering the buds of red roses
arms scratched and sticky, knees pink and soiled,
hands deep in the dirt, your fingernails
filled with earth.

What I wouldn’t give for your green thumb
instead of my black eye.

I often think about that time last July
nestled in the warm soil, sun scorching skin.
in your worn blue overalls. The ones with the flower patches on the pocket.
ready to whisper a secret. The kind you just couldn’t comprehend.
An embroidered caterpillar crawling up your shoulder when I told you
life is a circle
and I am a square peg
I fit
I just wish it felt better.

You cracked a smile and shook your dirt-dusted hair.
Your tender, unrelenting laughter
dropped down my spine
like ice.
Slipping a velvet petal on my tongue, you whispered,
Trust me, it’s sweet!
Would you believe me if I told you it stung?

I felt you take root in the field of my mind
your wishes sprouting up like weeds.
I was going to tell you
that even my pink cactus swelled up
like a blowfish
and died.
But you wouldn’t know what to say.
So, instead,
I nibbled on another pink petal
as the sun seared overhead.
And I wish I could’ve told you,
as we laid in your glorious garden, that the blaze,
to me, felt tepid.