Victims of Victims II

by Elizabeth Kirschner

We pull into the bus station and my memory chugs in, too. I decide to walk home, know that my mother and father are too drunk to navigate their boat of a car down the town’s melancholy boulevards. I walk by old factories that are behemoths with shattered windows like punched-out eyes. 

Finally, I come to Sinnissippi Lagoon where I once fed hunks of bread to swans which were pear-colored in the moonlight. I did this whenever I fled from my house, my room in my house in midnight’s blue doom. Led by scent, I longed for the sleeping monster in the lagoon to rear its ugly head so I could slay it because I could not yet slay my own monsters, monsters with many ghastly heads. 

Now I bend to touch beheaded flowers, return to Grandma’s garden where the plants were marionettes pulled tight by light. Somehow they partnered me, helped me grow roots and dart skyward while shawled by Grandma’s green shadow. She taught me how to pluck the copper-backed beetles off her double-blooming dahlias and for her I gathered a strange bouquet which sprayed this way, that way, like a jester’s hat as he tumbled through another bright, yet desperate song. 

Just now I long for a basket to line with has-been flowers that want their hour of beauteous blossom back again to carry to my mother as her face, too, looks like a passed-out bloom. I arrive, knock on the door to the house I fled from, the one I return to smelling of the roughage the woods harvest.

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