by Beate Sigriddaughter

The older she gets, the more everything reminds her of everything else. Cobblestones, hopes, hunger, childhood plans to make a difference in the unfurling world. She has been shown there is no need to be coherent. Poets hurl startling images like confetti, the wilder the better, insisting everything exists in fragments anyway while trusting the fundamental coherence of it all. So it has to be alright. Even to live and believe in clichés is acceptable, though they ought never be mentioned. They must be endured in stoic silence, love, betrayals, roses, pearls growing around small grains of anger. Geranium incense surrounds her like a magician's soft defense against reality. Poppies, cornflowers, daisies, a tribute to her mother who craved honor that was promised on occasion but never delivered except in pieces here and there, some long after death, still somehow making the hunger worthwhile. When you are famous, she notices, you can meander through the details of reality with absolute impunity. There is a flower carved in the birdbath pedestal. Time to feed finches.