Flower-Headed Children

Swimming through the ruins.

close up photography of coral reef

She told us that we wouldn’t be arriving anywhere until we stopped marking time. Okay, we said, but when? Laughing, she grew. The more porous she became, the more easily we could swim through the spaces she filled.

When the land came apart, we carried the rubble in truck beds. We had to pile it somewhere. The pile became an altar.

To what? Becoming, we hoped. Something we couldn’t see. It was made of our lost parts, broken bits, and the way that we could be each other’s angels, showing up at our ruins. We slept sometimes among the rubble. No one noticed.

She loved a good play. Among actors, she told us, they call an entrance the time needed for one character to join the others on stage. But what about you? We wondered, swimming back and forth through the holes she made for us. She laughed again, and we spewed from her pores, back into one another and the wreck.


The title comes from an exhibit by Jaishri Abichandani.

Author: Stacey C. Johnson

I keep watch and listen, mostly in dark places.

Leave a Reply