I. Brought down from a hand-tended farm before dawn, blossoms greet the day from the loading dock. We pile them into a car too small to transport anything larger than a teacup. They’re a draping muppet sprawled over the front seat. They’re a holiday picnic packed into the trunk. They’re the words of a poem about to be written.
II. A friend found a stack of index cards outside a funeral home. Dates of life and death and notes on where to send the ashes. This is an analogue record of death. Of a life composed of years, and a moment of death. Documented in cursive pencil handwriting. What is there to temper the heaviness of grief? And what of these lives extended beyond the flatness of an index card? The details are invented: A speculation on how she used to start the day. The button missing from his shirt. A favorite record on repeat until the needle went dull. It’s a way of giving some life back. The ceremony is to lie down on the table and be decorated with flowers. You don’t have to close your eyes. Just lie still and imagine what the colors look like for the blossoms you can’t see, or how you appear from above. A work of art is being constructed around you. There’s a way to place yourself in the center of that picture.
III. Of course it ends. Of course, the petals wither and the water goes stale in jars of decomposing stems. Being submerged accelerates the process. Before the process takes hold, we step outside into the cloudy light, and relish the moment of greatest beauty. Or maybe its just the most perfect one. Or maybe it’s the worst, if what you see is everything falling apart from here. We step outside into the light without blinking, remembering flowers.