A treacle sun for gray-scale sunflowers

by Jodie Cumming

All those heads they turn to look at you.

Those fractured stems, creaking like vertebrae whilst they move

they will agonise themselves to worship

And you, the greatest flower of all, drip down your greasy arm

blessing them to survive another noon.

 

The air is thick, like cake

Sweet vanilla essence

Oh, delicious!

Is that sugar frosting?

No, it is cyanide.

Oh.

 

You grin and the sweet congealed gloop strings across your gnashers

I am sickened by the sweetness

Which sends nausea down my spine and out through my ankles.

 

Oh, to hope to die!

That tantalising hope

I remember being young and free

And with illustrious hope we’d wait for it all to be over

Father, can you draw the curtains?

 

I am blinded by that treacle sun

It drips down on me like the ash to Pompeii

and as I draw my last breaths 

I remember someone telling me about those bright, yellow sunflowers.

‘But why?’ I cry. ‘Why must they be yellow when I can only see in grey?’

And then they all turned to look at me as if wondering why I needed to ask that question at all.