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.'