The road bends inwards, compressing. Leaves float
off their spindly branches. It’s summer, and the sky
Carries a certain weightlessness. The dandelions live in that
Inverted world, their florets pulled into their bulbous heads.
Mama strolls down this road toward her new house,
The air buzzing in a language she does not yet understand.
She gingerly pulls open the wooden gates. The yellow bulbs
Beckon her, and she runs, nuzzling their blades like his skin.
The leafy mosaic hides her scars. Mama scallops the petals
Like a safehouse. Carries them into the attic; places them atop
The greying photograph: it’s her wedding day, and
Baba is smiling, so striking against his usual scowl,
His usual brittle hands searing her face. The next day,
the barren dandelion heads watch as Mama thumbs
the spineless English dictionary; watch,
As she rubs the whitener on her skin. The clock ticks
Forward, or backward. It all sounds the same.
The petals are the only things that don’t leave her.