roams the train station
with a stuffed yellow sunflower
in his hand. He is a mascot for happiness.
This is his name, a beaming sunflower too fat
to be real, with a stitched black smile
on its fuzzily radiant face, standing straight
up with its singular mission:
to bring light
to the world.
On a train
he spots a curious couple
like bread he can spread
his smile on. His joy flares
like a blister; he waves
the sunflower in his hand,
he wants to bless
but the contrast
of their laced fingers
like piano keys
He doesn’t notice,
but a note
in his body
overlaid by the melody of the smile.
He smiles up to them, down at them,
oozing good will. Quickly they are drawn
into his dazzling sketch
of the world.
So pretty, he says, staring
at their hands, their mismatched
skins, their matching
rings. And so handsome—
young man, you scored
yourself a fine fair
lady. You’re lucky
you’re not dark
Mr Sunflower believes in happiness,
in a smile etched by a diamond.
He draws his world black and white,
a house built on granite,
with lines so straight
they never collide.
The sunflower flops
about as he beams,
flat face gleaming
against the dark
Matter cannot move without disturbance
Which is free, rock or river? Rock sets
out the water’s path, and torrents carve
creases and vessels through mountains
broad-shouldered and beaten. In a cave
slow muffled drops wear away
old stone, its aggressions
paltry and peripheral
and relentless, like elbows in the city.
Passengers on the train sustain
hard, round, blue-black bumps
stamped like pennies on the ribs,
like grease on glass windows, shoulders
and fingers sliding on translucent skins, leaving
on each other imprints in the sand.
Celine Low is a writer, painter, dancer and secret bathroom-singer based in Singapore (but currently in India), with an MA in English Literature she doesn’t know what to do with. Her fiction and poetry are either published or forthcoming in Tempered Runes Press, Muddy River Poetry Review, Fifty Word Stories, BALLOONS Literary Journal, and 9Tales from Elsewhere, among others.