What then of the silt, the polyester flower
with its small yellow leaves? What
of the black Mini Coop and the chef jacket
double breasted and the sunflowers wilting
and the coffee too creamed? This morning,
I curled into the heat of your stomach,
and just basked there, wishing for that hot
lazy sleep to keep on. I’ve resorted to
real sugar again, this oatmeal too sweet.
Saccharine, word I always hated, especially
when it came to writing. Step right
to the edge of sentimentality, then turn
around—my favorite advice. What then
of the way our bodies curve into each another
without thought? Artificial light and touch,
these granules in cloud-grey glow, crystals
no, marbles collected in a wooden bowl, take
my rocks and keep them safe, a friend
said without saying. So I dug and dug
on a hike in Breckenridge, unearthed
another. Added it to the pile. Poems don’t save us.
This was always a lie. Still, I’ve kept so many.
Vincent van Gogh. Sunflowers, 1887. The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Maryam Ghafoor is from Illinois. Her work has been published in Barnstorm Literary Journal, and she has poems forthcoming in American Poetry Review. Her Master’s thesis won the Distinguished Master’s Creative Work Award from Purdue University in 2017. She currently works as an English Instructor at Purdue.