Love, Like Dying Lilies
New love smells like dying lilies,
a fading scent that's now here.
Now gone. Now here.
Looks like dying roses, petals closed,
gathered like a shroud. Necks bent,
wondering if this is how it ends.
Colour here. Colour gone.
We'll wait till the flowers fall off.
Toss the stems. Gather the petals.
Leave them out to dry in the sun.
Shrink. Shrink. Die. Die.
Add some oil to make us glad,
and we'll have a potpourri.
Maybe we'll keep this. Somehow.
A few months ago, T.E. came by on a Sunday afternoon, and when her eyes fell on a vase of fresh flowers, said, “I don’t know if I’ll ever understand flowers as a gift. It’s like someone saying to you, ‘Here, hold these while they die. It’ll be soon.’ I don’t get it.”
“Isn’t that most things in life?” I wondered. I wasn't thinking about the flowers, which had been a lovely surprise from a client. I was thinking about something else from a few weeks before. Vibrant then, exhilarating. Enough then, bubbling over. Suddenly waning, running out.
Yet, somehow, we are never empty handed. Something else comes along, fills the space, while the old shape shifts and stays in our life in some form. Maybe as a memory. Maybe as potpourri.
When Spiderman and MJ finally get together, my friend A.O. turns to me and says, "Rayo, when will you fall in love? "
It is a running joke amongst some friends. They know it's been more than four years but less than five years since I dated anyone. They know I don't go out. And when a number of them have tried to set me up, I haven't said “yes” to more than a first lunch or dinner. So, he teases.
This time, it catches me off guard, like when someone mistakenly jabs their elbow in your face hard. My head moves back quickly from him, and I hear myself laugh. A loud bold laugh. It's enough to distract him. And maybe me, from the tightness in my chest.
A few months ago, I was hoping to make some potpourri, but life happens. Still, here I am, not empty handed.
Always shape shifting. Always thriving.