Victoria Nordlund

Preservation

There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance. Pray you, love,
remember. And there is pansies, that’s for thoughts.

-William Shakespeare

Memories of you bloom
in my synapses

and as I begin to pick them
from storage, I can’t tell

if these flowers are real
or if they are even mine–

I think they used to be.
And you are gone, and here they are–

flattened and ironed
forget-me-nots,

rosemary, and pansies laminated
in a layer of my hippocampus.

I can make out our faded faces
in the pressed petals,

a withered tint of truth
in the violet’s muted veins,

a fragment of failed conversation in
a sprig of baby’s breath.

I turn the rue around and around now.
This bitterness can still blister skin.

Ophelia wore hers with difference
gave them water–

 


Victoria Nordlund‘s poetry collection Binge Watching Winter on Mute was published by Main Street Rag in June 2019. She is a Best of the Net and 2020 Pushcart Prize Nominee, whose work has appeared in PANK Magazine, Rust+Moth, Pidgeonholes, and elsewhere. Visit her at VictoriaNordlund.com.

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