when we were young the lawn was a forest we traveled daily,
painting sunflowers with blue nail polish on the back wall of the tenants house, where no one could see.
there were handprints there and they weren’t our own
we worked around them.
Where are you?
Where are you?
mid may and the loquats fall like blazing suns. my father goes outside and collects bowlfuls. they sit in the kitchen until their yellow turns brown, because how can something be what it can’t see?
seasons go by. seasons goodbye. dad leaves house. loquats die on the lawn. no one to put them in a bowl.
tenant lives in the studio after the lawn. she’s pretty like the girls you hated and wanted to be. she paints your sister’s nails gray. you remember the sunflowers.
tenant moves. new tenant. elias. he serves in the army, you think?. he complements your camera’s zoom lens. you smile. thank him. raspy voice. tenant lives. you go away one weekend. tenant dies. “brain aneurysm.” his family cremates him. he is still here. mostly, he sits impassive in the loquat tree, staring down at you. but sometimes he visits the sunflowers, taking pictures with a zoom lens.
years spin. like the wheel on that tv show you can never remember the name of, even though it’s obvious. new tenant. her motorcycle sits in the driveway and has cobwebs. once in a while you sit on it. she doesn’t mind.
it is cold outside. you do not go there much anymore.
cat sleeps on grave of other cat, by the new tenant’s house. cat is ok. new tenant has dog. dog is ok. old. not as old as elias.
wind chimes. bird head rots in lawn (cat?). body weeps in sunflowers.