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
Is that sugar frosting?
No, it is cyanide.
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.