HIBISCUS

The mind is most honest when the stars are out.

There are no pretenses. There are no hideaways.

After midnight, I lie awake and dream of things

too shy for daytime. Things that go unspoken,

like how the pink hibiscus flowers on the shirt

he wore when he took what was not his, what

I never asked for, what I never gave him, those

flowers still bloom on the backs of my eyelids

when I try to sleep. Bloody petals, split stems,

no matter the season they are always there, like

weeds that return even after pulling, even after

all evidence has been erased, the roots devoured

by solid earth, they still grow without mercy.

The mind is most honest when the stars are out.

And I see him now, in the act of taking, cotton

and sweat, my voice begging him no, and hibiscus. 

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