Dyed CarnationsBy Robyn Schiff
There’s blue, and then there’s blue.
A number, not a hue, this blue
is not the undertone of any one
but there it is, primary.
I held the bouquet
in shock and cut the stems at a deadly angle.
I opened the toxic sachet of flower food
with my canine and rinsed my mouth.
I used to wash my hands and daydream.
I dreamed of myself and washed
my hands of everything. Easy math.
Now I can’t get their procedure
at the florist off my mind.
The white flowers arrived! They overnighted
in a chemical bath
and now they have a fake laugh
that catches like a match
that starts the kind of kitchen fire
that is fanned by water.
They won’t even look at me.
Source: Poetry (December 2014)