Violets: a true loss story

The violets that remind you of your dear
great grandmother’s dining room
on Oakdale Avenue
African violets in purple, lilac, lavender, and pink on a plant stand near a dark window by the olive green telephone on the wall

The Violets that remind you of your first, truest love’s breath
Lavender-perfumed chalky candy squares
Choward’s Mints in dark purple foil sleeves
from the corner store


But you were not one of their truest loves


the once-loving matriarch forgot you when the child stolen from El Salvador arrived
a baby smuggled across nations
yet, this was not a rescue mission for an orphan, no, this boy had a living mami

instead, it was a long distance shopping trip for a wom[b][an] whose insides were spoiled by lust and greed
For one who coveted, but then drowned in the role of motherhood
yet she still swam deep in men,
floated in luxurious possessions;

the old woman was no longer your “grammaw”
but the boy’s “Mimi” – solely, wholly his

she once accused you,
of lifting $20 from her purse on the night you ran away from home
& snuck in her house

an unfathomable indictment
while her [other] [grand]daughter
poached a baby, kited checks, pocketed jewelry and defrauded the Chicago Housing Authority
Mimi was silent, or complicit all those times

You, on the other hand, never stole a coin, or a child – or a permanent part of anyone’s heart

in 1999,
you still went to her home, anointed her hands and face with oil and tenderness,
preparing her living body for the
while telling her you loved her so much, truthfully.
You went because you knew
that she was dying alone
her violets were wilting fast
she foreseeing her ghostly humiliation before the coroner’s eyes
violets thirsty and unpruned from the neglect of her intentionally chosen beloveds and heirs – those who shared

her house and purse and heart

She died the very next day


The Violets that remind you of Him,
your first love,
of his breath and kisses in a dark gangway or anywhere hidden
that sweet ingredient imbued in the deep amalgam of his scent
a pheromonic candy –

veritably, His signature

His seduction

yet those same Violets remind Him only
of his first, unrequited, true love
he, pining for a brown-eyed, olive-skinned , spaniard, brunette girl
who virginally metamorphised into a pregnant, 16 year-old sacred cow
She only loved boys with slicked-back, jet black hair, the ones who wore silky shirts and baggies
she parted her lips and hips wide O P E N
but only for boys with names like Erasmo, Jorgey, Hector

She made Him godfather to the baby boy instead of the father or stepfather
He wanted to be,
despite his bended knee, promises,
and all the begging, lusting, cuckolding, and undying loving

Silly [yt] rabbit.

He still scours corner and liquor stores for the rare Violets to send to Her by mail, innocently asking the substitute “her” for postage, a box, and oh, some packing tape?

The first Her is slick, sick, broke(n) and old

but She is still the most beautiful of face, skin, voice and heart – to Him

He keeps ancient yarn ribbons from Her hair in a treasure box in their now broken home

photos of their adventures and of their Golden Boy texted to Her in the moment – instantly sent to the Gulf Coast –
to garner Her sunny emoji smiles and shallow sentiments xoxoxo ♥️♥️♥️😊🙂😘

While the substitute her bares her real teeth and her cloudy emotions in the moments lost;

“smile — you’re joyless”; insult to injury

now, she just looks and laughs
at the pathetic rabbit – holding his smartphone
a pseudo-Nicholas Sparks romantic with Her,
but He forgot the poem you wrote Him just last year, on his birthday – Agape


To the one dead and to the one living :
Violets remind me of you


(Pray that ash takes its place, soon
Or that I relocate in space, soon)

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