KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 9: Spring 2018
Prose Poems: 83 words
  91 words
  135 words

Three Excerpts From The Meaning of Flowers

by Lynn Pattison


Innocence. Fresh as a child. Simple as rain. History erased: I am a thin new stalk in my white confirmation dress; the center of pink organza petals at May Crowning. I’m all thumbs and stubbed toes, too. Hell, I blush! I believe everything you tell me even before you say it. I’ve been here before—revirginated. Like cut flowers plunged into cold water, though, there’s a timer ticking. But your rough hand on my face. The way I wilt in your arms.




Extravagance. Immoderate. As in you lavish me with kisses, I wrap you in the rich red robe of my desire. I put all my eggs in one basket, along with everything else I have, and give it to you. I climb out the window and shout sexy love to you as you come down the street. Outrageous public displays of affection, crazy bonobo love at home. I promise you the moon, twelve kids, Paris. You pledge bouquets every day, silk sheets, champagne. The world is bright as a brass bugle.




Devotion. As in reverence, zeal. As in you turn to me each day in staunch loyalty, pledge your constancy. Which means I require a lotta lovin, means I can hurl a whole set of the Encylopedia Brittanica at you—one volume at a time: A-BR, Fe-H, all the way to X,Y,Z and you will not leave, will not complain, not blame me later for bruises that blossom at your temples or bloom blue on your forehead. My love slave. You will, in fact, worship me, bring me armfuls of Alstroemeria, twined with Alyssum, freshened with drops of your steadfast sweaty fidelity. Silk ribbons inscribed with words I love: vow, true, zeal. More than allegiance, it is as if you are hypnotized, and I refuse to clap my hands and release you from your trance.


—From a chapbook-in-progress, The Meaning Of Flowers: 2018 (a new take on the traditional Victorian language of flowers)


Bio: Lynn Pattison

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