Issue 4

Still Life with Flowers

 · Poetry

On the third day some flowers cease to be lilies and turn into the rest of things. Somehow, even as they are blooming, they stop being themselves. They no longer hold form. These take on the table setting, fill in the slot of the centerpiece. You know this has happened when, on the third day, they no longer surprise you:

a lily’s newness leaves a room as water leaves a vase, the wilting flower alit in flameless burning, the singed tip of the trumpet turning back over itself. You can’t see it any more than the plaid shade of the lamp nearby, turned up like the skirt of a dancer, the chess set settling under layers of dust. The knight is about to discover the rook with all the fury of a new move, with the bright excitement that shines from stepping into a stranger’s room, but you cannot see it:

this is still life, but it has finally become invisible, itself. It was replaced with this scene when no one was looking, an artifact of the everyday left in its place, the bowed head of the lily turning briefly toward the light.

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