The Sunflower Sutra, Part I

“Poor dead flower, when did you forget you were a flower? When did you look at your skin and decide you were an impotent dirty old locomotive, the ghost of a locomotive? You were never no locomotive, Sunflower, you were a sunflower!” 

Allen Ginsberg, 1955.

We sat together, you and me there at the edge of the wall with the rocks and the dust and the mouths speaking through the cracks in the brick to the sea below and beneath; a father to weary dreamers or just those who like to forget the churches they went to on Sunday.

The sea always forgets.

Our legs hung off the side of the wall and quite tantalizingly encouraged the sea to stir itself up into a frenzy of murmuring bubble and foaming wildness that wanted to grab our feet and take us home. We were never really home, not anywhere but where one of us ended and the other began.

My Sunflower.

A dusty Sunflower with a cobweb between the petals, and a stem of a backbone of a tree of a stem. Strong.

Take me with you when you go. I’ll hold on to your leaves and ride along when you flutter and take off…We don’t belong anywhere but walls next to seas made of rocks and mouths.

I figured maybe I could plant you here. I tried it last year, but it didn’t work. The tide plucked you out and pushed you far from me, and we can’t have that.

I’m not lucky like a flower like you, 

I’m an old deck of cards with the Queen of Diamonds missing. I’m a fish. I’m a sorry piano in an abandoned attic. A dirty vase. There are no flowers for me.

So, let’s rest a while on this here wall, hang our legs off the side. Stir up the sky and the sea with our toes.

Jump downstream and never come back, leave this sorry town behind. 

**Cover image credit: Artist Anda Styler**

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