The cat to my left is licking my forearm with abandon. I burn a candle with a scent meant for winter and see how long I can take the sandpaper tongue. It is May? It is June? July is tomorrow? There is talk of summer plans (as if we ever knew how to make them) and camp chit chat and what will we do with the children next?
The first full five-day school week has yielded thoughts like, the goldenness of silence should never be underestimated and I love my children and I think I’m in love with my partner again, and what joy to walk down a street, already sweaty from the rush of the morning, and slow your walk to a roll and know that you’ve already succeeded, just a little.
Two wilted sunflower sprouts travel home with the girls from school, drooped over like junkies at a phone booth. I tell them all they need is water. I promise them that by midnight they’ll be upright again. At bedtime lights out, they ask to see their plants. I walk the length of the apartment to bring the pots to bunks, Look!, I say, They’re already halfway there!
As I drive my nearly 43 year-old self to get my second tattoo today — because we’re all going to die anyway why not decorate things a bit ?— my hands shake because I have a plan I know is going to change. I have a poem I think I’m going to put on my body, but I know the truth, that when I get there I’ll release myself from the angles and lines and find the curves instead.
It doesn’t take me long to choose. I can be pretty decisive. I hand-pick the ones I love best and she writes them onto my body.
Make plans, break plans, say no to plans, remember the time so recently, when we had so little to do, no way to plan. It can still be hard to look forward. It can still be hard to think backward. It’s still all so hard.
Armfuls of flowers for all of you, for doing what you can, the best you can, with what you have.
Bouquets of flowers for you as the curtain opens and closes.
Fields of flowers for you for as far as the eye can see.