My grief is also

the white flowers that open at the approach
of summer, their musky scent spilling,

finally, out of petals they cupped
so tightly to their hearts until

they could no longer; is magnolia and
gardenia, snowbell and japonica, the swill

of their breath nearly unbearable
in the rising heat, bringing you

to the point of nausea. And isn’t that
the way it is, when grief’s flask finally

unstoppers: how, before any cleansing flood
of tears, you reel toward the nearest bush

and open, you heave until you are dry, until
your insides are completely emptied. And then

it will not matter what the cause, nor what time
of day it is: high noon, dusk, or whatever season;

for what they’ve brought is the gift of a knowing
that will never leave you, now or at the end.

~ after Sean Thomas Dougherty

Leave a Reply