brother returns as sunflower
BY MARCI CALABRETTA CANCIO-BELLO
As a stranger, you glanced over my shoulder on the train.
I was reading about twenty-four sunflowers
set in ponds near Chernobyl after the plume.
Attention to the sky, roots hungry for earth,
inhaling blight and metal into themselves, any two
blossoms touching only once. They had no mouths
for each other, no hands. Only faces with one dark eye
dimming even as the water clarified.
Like the fading smell of dry rain in soil, your hair,
what we meant to say and will not remember.
What we should have done in the husk of this life.