I leap from bed to seize the dress! All winter it hung on the wall, a work of art: black chiffon exploding with resplendent roses; red & pinks. The perfect floral pattern: riotous rose garden, gone to seed, or the brothel’s flocked wallpaper in an old western. Matte lipstick matches the filmy silk scarf, blood red and long enough to die like Isadora Duncan. I wrap it about my head and bare shoulders. Dark curls escape. Cat eye sunglasses complete the Italian starlet effect. No time for gelato. I’m late for class. Top down. Music up. I am an embodiment of the season, not quite come. In the student union, I spot flowers, a flier, so I sign my name.
I bring packets of seeds: poppies, daisies & a wildflower mix. His ex brings freckles & naturally curled lashes. He has a type. The over-do it type; busy busy busy bees. He’s soft for showy bloomers; for perfumed petals and deep roots, always reaching.
Picture a dreamer who volunteers to plant flowers. I wave: “Hey! Iris!!”
Aptly named, she lifts her head.
I do an awkward jig, crack a joke: “Fancy meeting you here. It’s been forever.”
With urgency, as though I’m wrong, Iris rushes:
“Just last night you wore your dress, the whole ensemble, billowing scarf and cat eye glasses. You knelt to plant roses and they exploded, growing wild in hyperspeed, bright pink and taking over. They became technicolor cartoon roses, undulating multidimensional fractals growing across time and space. Into the future. I tried to come closer but the flowers were too powerful.”
Dia VanGunten explores overlaps between genres, between poetry & prose, between real &; magical. Her current fiction project is Pink Zombie Rose. Follow @pinkzombierose for more updates.
Red Rose by Billie Ellish & Khalid