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©2018 Barren Magazine. An Alt.Lit Introspective.

A Girl Buys Lilies for Herself


by Priyanka Sacheti

She knows that there is something wrong with her when there have been no flowers in her house for weeks. The air smells of uninhabited hearts and crushed moths and dead clocks. Tomorrow, if her eyes and the sky stay dry, she promises herself that she will walk down to the florist and buy flowers. She will choose lilies and only lilies: ivory-white, tinted in palest pistachio. She will only ask for buds so that they will have opened up by the time she feels like smiling again. When she will awaken from nightmares, they will be oxygen balloons of hope for a ship lost at night in an alien sea. Their fragrance will jumpstart her dying blood again. On a moonless night, she will have them, many phosphorescent moons floating in the dense lake of darkness. On the way home, she will walk back with her lilies, holding them close against her tin heart, crushing dawn colored plumeria beneath her feet. They drop from the tree like rain and she will feel the dampness of their pain for only a moment before walking away. When flowers bruise, they become creased paper of a letter read over and over again. Their dying is redolent of ink in a bottle, longing to become words. But she will be ignorant of those stillborn poems, thinking only of her lilies. Once home, she will place the lilies in the two dollar royal blue vase she bought in a city thousands of miles away. So much has broken but this has not. The lilies will feel home here.

Header photograph © Asher.

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