Friday, 23 June 2017


Like a paddling pool with the plug wrenched loose, the mattress sagged. The room smelled of coffee, laundry and that uniquely vile scented powder that is supposed to sink between carpet fibers freshly, but instead has all the sickly floral sweetness of a funeral.

I laid on the mattress and its springs pushed through in circles. I noticed these sunken divets held water, and in the water, water-boatmen, and tadpoles, and newts. They caught the light bluely and greenish like chips of labrodorite. In my ear canal a grasshopper wriggled. I could hear it’s chirrup loud as a migraine.

But quietly, there you were. You were carrying tulips. Inside a tulip is a map of Persia and a compass arrow pointing to the Netherlands. Bootstrap leaves, and a heavy head like a star, puckered up like a cup with a fish pout. There’s something about the pretty petals, like a clasped hand, that ask for a kiss.

Your face is like a watch face, anxiously keeping count of our time as it passes. You won’t kiss me. You kiss an older version of me that doesn’t see a ponded mattress. There was water for creatures where there might have been water for tulips.

©Amy Leonard, 2017.

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