Love me like sludge

Swirling my hands around in the large vase, I wipe the sluggish plant remnants from the glass.

The water smells strangely like animal faeces and it makes me dry wretch. Sloppy strands of retired plant and stem stick to my hands like seaweed.

I want to squeeze my hands tightly and let the green botanical matter ooze out from in between the webbing of my fingers.

I stroke the thick stems of the sunflowers underneath the running water of the kitchen tap and I grate away the 5 day old scum.

The flowers are almost closed now, though still golden yellow and filled with the hundreds of tiny little black pollen that isn’t seed.

They look sad and floppy, their faces turned downward.

I feel guilty for having these large flowers in my house and wish that they were standing proudly, planted in my back garden instead.

I remember once, I walked home on a warm summer night with a boy who scolded me for ripping a large impressive flower from someone’s garden. I wasn’t sure if he was upset because he might’ve thought I was stealing or whether he was more concerned for the plant.

He told me I was hurting it.

Don’t do that to plants, it hurts them … leave them there and they’re happy.

I wonder if he left me only months later because he thought he’d hurt me.

Perhaps, he’d thought that I was a flower, better left in someone else’s garden.

I wanted to sit between his hands though. I wanted him to hold me between his hands and wrap me in something beautiful and present me like a gift to the world. I wanted him to look at me and think that I were something so special; he could do nothing but pick me.

But he left me.

© ryan

Love me like sludge

PJ Ryan

Melbourne, Australia

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