Game Theory

There are these silences and then
the words in the middle, suffocating
out of love. That is to say, the love inside them
suffocates. Asphyxiated with a veneer of something
closer to common civility. But love bruises
so delicately. Like an apple in late November,
rotten fruit that will not reveal its ankles. Never
lay all your cards on the table. Everybody knows that,
even the gazelle who outruns the leopard only to fall
into the lion’s open maw. But I’m patient. I can wait
it out, live a little while the skies darken and the
moon comes into being, a curve just the sly arch
of Mona Lisa’s smile. I can bide my time while
the sun grows cold. After all, nobody said it
would be easy. In my dream, an apple made of blood.
Show me the blood in your mouth and I’ll show you – 
no. Your move.

alstroemerias

My mother preferred alstroemeria to lily.
When I would ask her to buy lilies she would return,
a bag of groceries in one arm, alstroemerias in
the other. She did not understand what I had
against alstroemeria. She would put them in a vase
on my dresser. Week after week, I watched them die.
They died quickly, curling up at the edges, crackling
like crêpe paper. They were weak and they were
not lilies. When my mother died there were no flowers,
only ashes. That day I went to the market and bought
alstroemerias, armfuls of them. I planted them
about the house.