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  • Writer's pictureSteph Shuff

Corpse Flower

Updated: Jun 1, 2020

I prefer what is

and what was

to what could have been

they sting smarter


in the here and now

but life lessons are like tattoos

they cover my body

I don't mind the pain

What could have been is the secret killer

a seedling

it sprouts regrets

you plant it so carefully in rich dark earth

thinking that buried things will die

when in fact

they bloom.

What could have been feels better now but

it doesn't fade with time.

It grows.

A corpse flower.

It takes years to open

when it does you will struggle to

see or smell or taste or touch

any other flower in the room.

I watch you sew the seeds

and say nothing. I know.

The only way to learn the lesson

is to let it root.

A memory

abandoned before it could be made

is sure to rot

and the only one to smell it

will be you.

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