It Smelled of Flowers
By Gray Davidson
I spoke the word 'gone'
Rhyming with 'dawn,' but far from there as yet,
And dropped it screaming
Into the abyss it had created.
At the utterance, the sunset colored walls,
Drenched in evening dew
With bloodied ferns gracing their crevices,
Descended; no stairway,
Just ferns' trailing tips to point the way.
Down the scale of colors into black.
Or maybe she spoke the word 'gone'
And it rose from a badly upholstered couch
In the living room of her mother's house,
Slapping its pants to excite the dust
Which had gathered for so many years.
Then it stalked the rooms,
A slice of vacuum,
And it smelled the flowers
From twenty years ago, a wedding,
Or a parting. In either case,
Champaign was present.
But I think it was the wind
That spoke the word 'gone'
As it curled down the chimney,
Chattered and spat sparks on the vacant rug.
Or when it spiraled across the continent,
Spanning hundreds of ominous miles
And devoured the race of man and woman,
As if they were popcorn or rice,
But when they had departed,
The night's mother and daughter,
The girl of many lifetimes
And the sparking maw that punishes
The sinners on earth, there was no one left
But still I hear the word 'gone.'