You Know a Market Where the Tulips are Still Three Quid
by Cecilia Knapp
and you buy them to remind yourself that you can.
They begin tight-lipped and upright,
but their petals become loose, droop.
Their stems will start to lean away from their own.
You know the cat will cry at two AM,
some nights you will sleep right through,
others your body will fling you upright as though
your brother is dying. You know what the wine does to your teeth.
You know about leaving.
You know you keep useless things
in case you need to build a shrine.
You know how to make gods of men
whose toothbrushes sit caked on the counter.
You know this, and you let them weigh your avocado,
rolling it around in their palm.
© Cecilia Knapp, first published in the White Review, September 2020
With kind permission of the poet