Violets: a true loss story

The violets that remind you of your dear
great grandmother’s dining room
on Oakdale Avenue
African violets in purple, lilac, lavender, and pink on a plant stand near a dark window by the olive green telephone on the wall

The Violets that remind you of your first, truest love’s breath
Lavender-perfumed chalky candy squares
Choward’s Mints in dark purple foil sleeves
from the corner store


But you were not one of their truest loves


the once-loving matriarch forgot you when the child stolen from El Salvador arrived/
a baby smuggled across nations
yet, this was not a rescue mission for an orphan, no, this boy had a living mami / instead, it was a long distance shopping trip for a wom[b][an] whose insides were spoiled by lust and greed
For one who coveted, but then drowned in the role of motherhood
yet she still swam deep in men,
floated in luxurious possessions; everything, everyone, an acquisition to her

The woman unbecame your Grammaw and became the boy’s “Mimi” – solely and wholly his / She once accused you of lifting $20 from her purse when you ran away from home and snuck into her house to rest and pee / She accused you of this – of theft
even after her own daughter poached a child from a sovereign state, kited checks, pawned stolen jewelry and defrauded the housing authority / Mimi was silent, or complicit, in all those crimes

I never stole a coin or a child – or a permanent part of anyone’s heart

in 1999,
you still went to her home, anointed her hands and face with oil and tenderness,
preparing her living body for the
while telling her you loved her so much, truthfully.
You went because you knew
that she was dying – alone – in her own house with the boy and his imitation of a mother, her imitation of a daughter

Her violets were wilting fast – no one had to tell you they were thirsty and unpruned from the neglect of her intentionally chosen beloveds and heirs who owned her home and her heart / she foresaw her own ghostly humiliation before the mortician’s eyes

She died the very next day


The Violets that remind you of Him,
your first love,
of his breath and kisses in a dark gangway or anywhere hidden
that sweet ingredient imbued in the deep amalgam of his scent
a pheromonic candy –

yet those same Violets remind Him only
of his first, unrequited, true love
he, pining for a brown-eyed, olive-skinned , spaniard, brunette girl
who virginally metamorphised into a pregnant, 16 year-old sacred cow
She only loved boys with slicked-back, jet black hair, the ones who wore silky shirts and baggies
Her heart [and legs] open
only for boys with names like Erasmo, Jorgey, Hector

She made Him godfather to the baby boy instead of the father or stepfather
He wanted to be,
despite his bended knee, promises,
and all the begging, lusting, cuckolding, and undying loving/

silly rabbit.

Even now, He still scours gas stations and neighborhood liquor stores for the rare Violets to send to Her by mail, innocently asking the ‘substitute her’ for postage, a box, and “oh, some packing tape?”

The first Her is slick, broke(n) and old / but She is still the most beautiful of face, skin, voice and heart – to Him / He keeps ancient yarn ribbons from Her hair in a little boy’s treasure box in their now-broken-trust home / He, a pseudo-Nicholas Sparks romantic for Her / but He forgot the poem you wrote for Him just last year, on his birthday: Agape

She sends Him photos of Her vanity days and yesteryear Glamour Shots™️, gun poses and grandkids / While He sends Her photos of our adventures and of the one, truly Golden Boy – my boy – by text message all instantly viewed on the Gulf Coast/

All of this betrayal to garner Her sunnied emoji smiles and shallow sentiments xoxoxo 🙂 ❤️❤️❤️

While the ‘substitute her’ bared her real teeth and wore conflicted emotions on her face in the photos – and in the very moment they were living in/

Now, she just looks and laughs
at the the pathetic, silly rabbit – holding his smartphone – googling cures for baldness, grey beards and stamina before Her June visit


To the one dead and to the one living :
Violets remind me of you


(Pray that ash takes its place, soon
Or that I relocate in space, soon)