When I die, I want my books

to contain explosions of flowers.

Bougainvilleas, hibiscus, and lantanas

marking the passing of seasons —

here is where I walked with my nephew

that summer when he was five years old

and still thought I was the coolest person ever.

Here is where an ex and I walked, early spring,

when I realised that fondness was not enough,

and I’d rather have love or nothing.

Here are the bougainvilleas from that afternoon

when I was so alone I thought I would die

but I didn’t and made tea instead.

I went out that afternoon looking for something,

and found it in this sprig of riotous purple

these flowers that bloom for no reason

except that they are alive.

It was a lesson in selfishness: why not take

comfort from the the world –

the wet nose of the neighbourhood dog

the arrow head of birds in flight in a blue afternoon sky –

when it gives so much so freely?

These dried flowers crowding between pages

marking the passage of a life as transient as their own –

may I be remembered as a life warmed by the same sun

and nourished by the same earth.

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