The Flowers I Gave My Girlfriend Before She Left Me Aren’t Dead Yet


Spring turns straight to winter

my smile: an upside-down frown

My frown: a right-side-up frown

my smile: a frown while standing on my head

and frowning

The hot day turns cold

my pleasantries at work: rehearsed

my pleasant life: gone

my work life: fairly pleasant

until I must stand on my head

while frowning to present

a smile

I pluck two petals

“She loves me not,

she loves me not.”

The flowers I gave her

are still here


but she is gone


bummer all around

I pluck two more petals

and manhandle the stem

not metaphorically

I really mangle the stem

I set it on fire

The fire grows

unlike her like for me

and then I freak out

extinguish the fire

with that squirt-gun thing

on some kitchen sinks

with no water pressure

like her like for me

I pluck two more petals

and hiss the “N-word” at them

I open my lips but keep my teeth shut

so spit flies out

when I hiss racial epithets

at the flower, before it’s dead

I close the blinds

lock the door

turn off the lights

before I do this

because my friends

aren’t above playing pranks

like setting up a camera

to record my pain

in hopes it goes viral

so they can laugh at me


marry redheads

I pluck two more petals

eat them

wait six hours

shit them

in the sink

retrieve the shit-flowers with great trouble

light them on fire

but they don’t catch fire

just like our relationship

because they got wet in the sink

during their retrieval

just like the shit-flower that was our relationship

I pluck the last petals

I tell them it’s not working out

that we’re moving in different directions

while I rip them up in different directions

I pour the water out from the vase

from my back deck

and then pee off my back deck

to piss on the water

that nurtured

the flowers

I gave her

before she left

I throw the vase

like a baseball


I hear it bounce without breaking

so maybe there’s a chance?

I throw other things at it

to break it

but can’t hit it

I check to make sure my computer

isn’t Skyping with my father

That would make this episode worse

but that’s the only thing that could.

Or my older brothers watching

while hidden behind the curtains

laughing with their wives and kids

also hidden behind the curtains.

I key my neighbor’s car

The next day I realize I got carried away

like my girlfriend carried herself away

my neighbor had nothing to do with it

but I was on a roll

and not keying your neighbor’s car

is something you do

when you have someone to laugh at

cat posters with you.

“Oh shit!” indeed

We are all kittens with claws extended

clinging to a tree


Poet Scott Pierce works in a hospital cafeteria and just completed his first year at tattoo-artist night school.