CBD Flower-Seller / Self-portrait
The flower-seller pulls a wagon into her failed
self-possession, a timeless testimony
for the story-teller. She will not sit restfully
with her hands in her lap, they are tied
to camellia bunches because it is cold
& they are the winter rose without scent.
She drowns her considerations in the sink
before closing the front door of the factory.
Her instructive audio recordings
on flower-selling will never be transcribed.
Her mouth is minor & deprived of—
While it may be a privilege to possess
a functioning jaw, she loathes the spasms
from the absence of a fullness only guaranteed
if she trades all the flowers in her wagon.
She sells these things so she can put things
into the thing that is her body pulling
the wagon. There are four sides to this exactness—
it is heavy & there is no float. Load-bearing,
she is her own draught animal & is infamous
for shouting at her sister in the street.
The flower-seller & her younger sister share
rival theories about the technical correctness
& angle for cutting & searing turgid stems.
The flower-seller dissolves grief on her tongue
like the butter she misses on the bread of loss.
The younger sister spits on the ground & soaks
her aches on the footpath. She wishes for her own
water-line. What a cluster. This is the opening
of their formal separation while they wait
with stocked flowers that, in this season,
look like gored coral fish in their dozens.
- Autumn Royal reads 'CBD Flower Seller'