I get lost in Pluto’s remaining
eye; not the planet, but the red-eyed black cat a friend crafted out of a story
by Poe. I stare until my pain blurs the feline’s smirk. Still, my mind can’t
ignore what the Cecilios are cooking for dinner—wild dandelion greens with
vinegar and garlic, by the sour smell and weediness of the flowers’ screams.
The Cecilios are good people.
They took me in, and treat me well, after so many other foster families had
used faith and fist to beat their demons out of me. I just wish they could
sense the dandelions’ suffering.
I close my eyes, take deep
breaths, and begin building a stone wall between my facial expressions and the
flower’s hurt. I dislike dulling my perception of their feelings—if they have
to endure the agony, the least I can do is acknowledge it—but if the Cecilios
think me mad, they’ll throw me out before I can offer any help to anyone.
When my wall feels sturdy
enough, I walk back to the Cecilio’s home, thinking, Rest in peace, little
sisters, I promise I to find a way to reclaim your spirit.
I stumble when I reach the
Cecilio’s kitchen. My wall cracks under a wave of phantom heat, and the garden
of terrifyingly hopeful voices that whispers through.
hear you, big sister,
dreams and blooms burned in their dark
will sprout in your light.”