The Prussian Flower

by Fariel Shafee

I wanted you to be proud of me.
I wanted to make you feel happy and worthy because of me.
I wanted to give you a meaning, and also find recourse in you.
I loved you.

Remember those sunny days long, long ago?
You used to follow me across those green and yellow corn fields, and the tall birch trees swayed and nodded in agreement. Gusts of air would create interfering plant-waves to submerge and smother us passionately. You looked radiant when you put your hands around me and painted kisses on my flesh. Life seemed fraught with meanings that connected us and the world – the lushness and the simplicity – together eternally.

We belonged; we were saturated; we fulfilled each other. The world was forever.

Then one day those waves dancing about the corn leaves seeped into the soil, the house, the lives, and distorted the placid pool of time to shake us all. Suddenly, there were places to be carried to and zeniths to be attained as the earth cracked, satiation exhausted and our lives shuffled. You rode on top of the crest and pined to reach the shore where starfish dazzled on yellow sand and foreign thrills abounded. You wanted that Prussian flower hanging from the vine in that exotic island.

Later, at a night, we stood next to the sea, where the frothy waves reflected our dreams gorgeously. We drifted together for eons, and stayed alive for the future. In an autumn evening, as the reddened motes of dusk glittered in the air, we saw the spires of opportunity rising above the clouds. As you pulled my hand impatiently, we walked into the contorted alleys adjoining the shore. There, our hopes ricocheted from the rubble to make it sparkle like gold dust.

In the city of hope, you and I worked hard, ate little and gazed at the spires. At night you brushed my skin and the warmth of your breath reminded me of life. In our dreams we saw that Prussian flower hanging from the canopy of stars, emanating the luster of a full moon. It was hidden behind walls, they said. The walls will start to dissolve when drops of rain would fall from heaven one magical night -- you whispered into my ear.

Then you pulled me across those slabs bridging the two banks of the creek one cold evening. The flower was at the top of the mountain, circled by a Blue Jay. You had to climb up to that pinnacle, where it hung from those vines. You pushed me along in haste and went ahead. I followed timidly. The flower glimmered uniquely in the midst of a thorny shrub.

Look at the magnificent flower. It is deep and rich like the heart of the sea. It calls one to its bottom uncontrollably. Touch the flower, those lush leaves all around, and the bright red spot in the middle of deep blue. I have stolen it from the depth of thorns for you.

Take it, and caress it.

We stand at the very top, and gaze at it. It glows on our hands and calls us to the unknown.
We feel fulfilled.

Below us, the rocks shake. They tremble like a leaf in the wind.
Snow begins to fall and shimmer on the leaves.
Our hands are numb and the sun is about to set.

I wrap my arms around you and bring you down. You hold on to me tightly to keep warm. You try to hang on to the flower as your fingers stifle and the icy wind blows.
A tremor spreads, and we almost fall crashing to the ground.

We now sit in our humble abode in this faraway land. A fire is lit next to us. We imagine that Prussian flower degrading on the snow. I pull you towards me and kiss your lips softly. Another day will start in another world. One day, to our children, we will narrate the story of our adventure in a home we shall build for them with our own sweat and blood.

© 2010 Fariel Shafee.  All rights reserved. 

Fariel Shafee has worked mainly in science, but enjoys writing and art.  Her poetry and prose have appeared in DecomP, Ygdrasil, Oak Bend Review, BluePrint Review, Skive, and many others.  She has also exhibited art internationally.  You can see more of Fariel's work here.

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