Love Blooms, Air Thins
And she knows, feels
The first flowers of love creep inside
Stifling her heart though,
For a while, they were pretty things
Betrayal sapped her leaves dry,
Like the complexion her tired eyes
Caught in the mirror
Those leaves lie in the bathroom sink
With apologies and promises
More blooms grew, bit, escaping
Up, out her sore throat
Each day, she wondered if today was when
Her heart's garden would leave her
Poet's Notes: A fictional disease, Hanahaki, inspired this one. Made popular in Eastern writing and art, the disease entails someone having flowers bloom in his or her heart, often from one-sided love, and then coughing up the petals until the victim has the flowers removed by surgery and loses their feelings, dies, or in the best case scenario, has their feelings returned and naturally recovers. There have been many modifications to this general premise, and this poem is merely my take on it.
Editor’s Note: Ah, the oldest cliché in the book, the rose / Eros metaphor for love. I usually reject poems that use this worn out poetic conceit, but Sierra’s is the exception--a refreshing, new, post-post-post modern twist on the old theme.