(broken skin) flute flowers

by Richard Paez

(remember dead flute flowers
on the poor man’s grave
as you stand there
holding bare stems like swords)

do you remember what they told us?
there are no monsters
(no real monsters, anyway)
but lying there
under cold-night, warm-blankets
more focused than ever since,
breathing through your skin
so they couldn’t hear you,
you knew:
real monsters wore human skin

do you remember what they told you?
all you need is self-respect
and self-esteem
but if it was up to you
your self would have been far away
(and moving)
not buried under six feet
of what could-have should-have would-have been

if only you had
a little more time to smell the flowers
to take long walks
under a sky of endless possibilities
(that seemed to fall
under the sway of gravity
way too soon
for you to do anything about it)

do you remember what they told me?
that all I needed
was a little patience
(it seems that all I do is wait
for the fruit of plucked flowers
rotting sweetly on the headstones
of what could-have should-have would-have been)


Author's Note: thanks to david for preserving it for me, tissi for encouraging me to post it properly, and victor for being there when it mattered- even though it's not directly about him, our shared experiences wrote this- i just put it down on paper.

Posted on 10/18/2002
Copyright © 2020 Richard Paez

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 10/18/02 at 06:11 PM

Superbly both beautiful poetics and tragic message throughout, Richard. Thought provoking also.

Posted by JD Clay on 10/20/02 at 10:52 PM

Touche! Cogent, comprehensible and captivating come to mind malachi. Touche! p

Posted by Sam Roberts on 12/06/04 at 10:40 PM

it's so sad..a brilliant poem xoxoxoxoxoxoxox

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