That diner isn’t in my neighborhood anymore. The building stands, but it’s emptied out of people and pie. As we wait for our friend, I become accustomed to the smell of the corpse flower, how it opens up, and piles on top of the chicken pot pies and the custard and meringue. The rooster art on the wall isn’t so brave after all. His shaking rattles our booth and the ice in our glasses.
- I got a B+ in Anatomy.
I came down with a 105-degree fever and a sinus infection on the day of the final exam. I thought I saw insects having a party inside the bubbles of my scantron. My teacher was kind and let me take the test after everyone had left, but I felt like the blades of grass spied on us and laughed at me for trying.
Pistil- why does this sound like a pistol and make me fantasize about brown cowboys?
Stigma-a wound conveniently at the top of the flower, like a mouth.
Anther- ok, this sounds like antler. And I still wonder if deers make any sound when they walk in snow?
- Interview with the Rose
Me: Why are you so beautiful?
Rose: Because I am?
Me: Do you prefer paper or plastic?
Rose: It depends on what mood I’m in. But I do have a preference for red.
Me: That’s a little cliché, don’t you think?
Rose: Only if you don’t have the swag to pull it off.
The corpse flower is a blessing because it’s a fortune teller. The garden is lucky to have it, to be graced with its petals like haute couture. Every day we pray that babies won’t fall inside because they might fall in love with the folly. That flower is sweeter than purple couture. More precious than the shit I used to see on VHI’s House of Fashion when I was a kid. By the time our eggs and toast get here, we are surrounded by flower-like it wants us to stay and to stay.
Monique Quintana is from Fresno, CA, and the author of Cenote City (Clash Books, 2019). She has been awarded fellowships to Yaddo, The Mineral School, the Sundress Academy of the Arts, the Community of Writers, and the Open Mouth Poetry Retreat. You can find her @quintanagothic and moniquequintana.com.