a hundred red roses – one for every day i’ve known and loved you, his date simpers with a face full of flattery. Ted smiles nervously, rolling up the cuffs on his checkered shirt and unrolling them again, fiddling with the pearl buttons. he’d never noticed how the blue thread made a little cross in the four tiny holes before.
what’s up with you? his date says, cocking his head to the side and jutting out his bottom lip. is it the flowers? are they too red? too girly? Ted shakes his head, glancing in envy at the party-goers drifting through the restaurant – oh my, to be flower free.
who says men can’t have flowers? his date is saying, tucking a stray hair behind his Ted’s ear.
oh, it’s not the flowers. it’s not this bar, or this shirt, or this music.
it’s the hands that hold me. it’s the hundred days lost to someone who isn’t the someone i want, who isn’t the someone i want to get lost in, or get lost with.
Ted takes the flowers. thank you, he says. his date squeezes him with a smile.
he lets the fading light take over. he lets the web of sorrowed souls cradle him like a hammock, and swings into tomorrow unable to loosen the fingers that are gripped around his heart.
her lantern burned brightly with the fuel of tomorrow’s hopes and last night’s red wine; damp note paper and dried roses on her dark wood desk, glimmered in its glow.
she took the ski-lift to make it over wednesday’s mount. yet when she arrived at thursday, she wished she’d spent the ticket fare elsewhere; the view was better when she didn’t know what lay beyond.
butterflies in a dappled forest, bright turquoise, burnt orange and fushcia against the ripple of a green ocean
the sweetness of you stands against our earth’s bitter winds; you are a spoonful of sugar in tomorrow’s cloudy coffee cup.
i will not be taken down, like coloured bunting or outdated posters. i will linger here as memories do, the thick, muggy air thick with what once was and now, will always be.
he wears cotton-wool glasses and fur-lined boots, so the rough and ragged cannot touch him.
pretend with me, just for now –
pretend that all we have
is quite enough
this jug of oil will pour
until we have no more
need for it
this apple tree
will wait for us to die
before it does
hold my hands,
and speak to me
sing your lullabies
against the windy anthem of tonight
there was blood in on the butter knife,
and bones in the bread basket
as the feast of the richest began.