flowerpower learns about the origin of the universe
everyone always thinks i’m talking about god.
i’m starting to think his image is just too similar to flower’s,
form too invigoratingly passionate and
i just don’t know what i believe in sometimes so
i’m screaming about hands gripping
plasma membrane screens like toddlers trying to keep safe,
the phantom press of her body leaning into mine.
whispers “this is what i’m here for.”
watching hair fall staticy onto the back of her
abyss colored sweater and how her high top
laces have to wrap around her ankles to keep her in her shoes.
i ask flowerpower if she believes in anything external
and she says yes, love, but she doesn’t say what it is.
we’re digging through storage bins at her dad’s place
looking for posterboards. thirty-one out and icy.
we don’t want to walk to the store.
i ask flowerpower what the bloody hell she’s even doing,
what science project is worth this much trouble,
not just accepting a fail and moving on and
you already got into college; i ask flowerpower
what she’ll even report on this late.
her perfume smells like frustration and the density of hollister
polos, how you wait for them to cut off blood flow to your chest like
seeing your best friend in a jessica rabbit costume on halloween, but
everything around us is science, she says.
she points to a spider on the wall and i back up.
it is science. i am science. you and me and the spider and the ocean
and that’s pretty encapsulating too. if that’s all there was i’d believe in
things so much easier, wouldn’t you?
flowerpower does her project on the lid of a
rubbermaid and says that’s the grittiness of being nowhere…
the way we’d walk for miles in summer and be in the same town, the way we’re
trying on each others clothes and the vulnerable practice of
cinching and swallowing and disagreeing on who’s who in it.
letting her tags brand me with each letter
spelling out on my flesh: i am your best
friend. this is my memoir of loving things deeply and leaving them,
prying pasts like leeches.
flowerpower comes home three weeks later with a c+ and
cusses loudly like a god that no teacher would care that the project filled her.
she grabs me and swings us around on the breaking wooden porch
letting it dig into my feet. ground me, i want to plead.
let me be grounded. let me stay.
she points to the ocean. you see that?
you see it?
you know it’s all there is?