Where are the flowers?

I lie in silence,
oozing heart inside embalmed skin,
as the greasy trickle of grey faces swirls by my casket,
names rattling in the tepid radius of the ceiling fan.
Where is the painless fire?
The crematorium we tiptoed past as children,
has waited all these years.
I cry, I need to drink,
a giant burning thirst,
but this steaming desert has swallowed its own mirage.

The seconds stretch,
I watch them run, clutching their forearms,
cotton wads against punctured skin,
inoculated afresh
against grief,
against memories.
A sallow purple rises up to their throats,
they seem dead, upon their moving feet.
I want to sing a devilish dirge,
with bagpipes and kettle drums,
but this unspoken void has consumed its own tongue.

Where are the flowers?
The marigolds and jasmine strings,
the milky tuberose wreaths?
I smell a chemical odour,
a sulphury taste of ancient fear;
the sweat of mortality
coursing down the shrivelled bosom of life.
I try to get up,
flap my wings to rise,
but hands of time have curdled the viscous air.

I lie in silence.
As seconds stretch.
Searching for flowers.

Linked to Imaginary Garden
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52 thoughts on “Where are the flowers?

  1. Potent stuff.
    There’s a sub-poem here:

    this steaming desert has swallowed its own mirage
    this unspoken void has consumed its own tongue
    hands of time have curdled the viscous air

    a sulphury taste of ancient fear
    against grief
    against memories

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, you have captured what it must be like to be in a casket, if consciousness is still attached to its human form- the thirst, the wings that will not lift up – the chemical odor (there is a strange odor associated with death, I have smelled it). Very well written and makes the reader really grasp how the subject of the poem might feel.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This felt like a festival, words altering mind, tripping into and becoming… from corpse to vampire to child to angel… “I lie in silence, oozing heart inside embalmed skin, as the greasy trickle of grey faces swirls” takes on new meaning with each new identity. Cool!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This felt like two sensations to me… lying in a casket and suffering with depression. Virtually the same stuff, other than… you know, the breathing and all. Even the chemical part works for me! Bipolar mommy says you nailed it! Amy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Susie. Appreciate your comment. That’s exactly what I was thinking about, a flash of consciousness soon after death, like a need to know what happens in the aftermath. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  5. This is excellent, chilling, disarming. I read it on so many layers–physical death, perhaps–but even more, psychological paralysis, addiction maybe, spiritual imprisonment. Yikes. You really smack us in the gut with this.

    Like

  6. I know these feelings well. A deep depression, or painful loss – gives one that feeling of being dead – inside and out. Searching for flowers….when all is so dead and you see life passing you by, silent and just….looking. I relate a great deal to this one. Excellent write.

    Like

  7. A place of life
    so deep
    in cotton
    BALL
    coffin
    grey
    where
    paper
    like existence
    knows only
    time and
    feeling no
    longer
    exists
    @ALL..
    where
    every
    second
    of life
    is a thousand
    years of dying
    with no senses.. feeling..
    IN liVing vamPire death..
    and tHEY Say it is OnLY JUsT..
    a mYth.. tHey lie.. thEy lie.. LiE
    ThEY
    LiE..:)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I came to your post but had to leave before I could comment – sorry about that. I read a lot of sadness in your piece. The waiting in silence and the flowers. Well done.

    Like

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