Say a phrase over and over and its meaning sloughs off.
Sounds collide, saturating you. You go still beneath your skin.
The girl whispered "my Dad died," and there was nothing
to breathe in the cabin.
She pulled her treasures from her bag--a string of magician's scarves.
The red carnation appeared, a bent and wilted thing, thumbed
with effort to make memory last.
We mended the dangling flower-head with gum and nail polish
knowing the fix would finish it for good.
When she left, she held her funereal flower tight.
Never mind how the petals littered the ground
like the opposite of confetti.
--first appeared in Stirring