he asked if she remembered
the night with the fireflies
when the heat pressed down on
them like heavy fabric
(denim, maybe?)
and creased their faces with
hard red lines. they lay
with just their palms
touching and she said
she liked a man who had strong
hands and wore a ring
on long smart fingers.
he asked why and she said
I don't know
but smiled in the dark
and he smiled with her just the same.
fireflies blinked off-on
like rusted headlights or small
owl eyes or bastard lightning children
deformed into disks and legless.
all he could see was her skin,
like a cup of creamer missing
its coffee, raw swan white.
she was picking marigolds
and pulling at their petals,
like those little girls
who try to count little boys' love.
she said they were her favorite.
he asked why and she rolled
closer to him, chest to chest,
to say that
marigolds were beautiful
and october-coloured
and she liked him watching her
pull at their petals.
and this was that moment
when he first knew
the grand terrible feeling
of being-in-love.

he told her all this
as they followed the tired path
beneath the trees because
he thought she would like to know
how and when and why,
with handpicked marigolds
useless in his hands.
her lips pursed
bulging with words or
something else
and in one desperate motion
she was in him,
her tongue soft and slow.
the marigolds were found
with necks broken and gallows-bent.
poppies were her favorite flowers
and the only time she had seen
a firefly was when
her brother trapped one
in an old coke bottle
and forgot about it
until their father wondered
what the fuck
had happened to his collection.

originally meant to be a nice romantic piece until that little poet voice in my head told me it was the wrong girl. rather disappointing.