“Flowers” by Ysabelle Cheung

by Ysabelle Cheung

on tuesday a new flower shop opened in our neighborhood
and immediately announced it was going out of business.

lilies for a dollar, orchids for two,
and everywhere i saw people with bouquets

for the flowers would soon be extinct.

There had been reports of how they were tired of life and how it never rained anymore,

not in upcycled canisters of poison

or petrified lava or kitchen miracles

or on the grave of the parent whose silver scab you inherited.

and can you blame them?

No more pageantries, no more expos, no more mall decor
forget about the roses

the death drive of the Christmas flower is here.

You used to pray on the clouds but now these plants have gone postal
pollinating back into the soil

milking the roots inverted

pulling the pavement’s pale eyelids down with them.

How to cite: Cheung, Ysabelle. “Flowers.” Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, 17 Sept. 2020, hkprotesting.com/2020/09/17/flowers/.

Photograph © Oliver Farry.

Ysabelle Cheung is a writer based in Hong Kong. Her fiction has appeared in Catapult and Jellyfish Review, and her cultural criticism can be found in Literary Hub, Asymptote, the Los Angeles Review of Books and Artforum. Visit her website for more information.

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