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The grey night, walking home, we found
sunflowers leaning against the fence as heavy
as heads. In the morning, you held my head
in your palm, and we stared at each other down
the long length of your arm. We swayed together,
if only for a little while. Then you kissed my toe
and left. I pulled the comforters out after.
You had sweat the bed; the room bloomed
with your sweetness. I thought you can know
somebody for a long while and not know their scent.

I thought love, is it for me? Could anybody ruin
A week later, the sunflowers were gone,
overhead, just sky. In the driveway next
to the empty stalks was the family that lived
in the blue house behind the garden. A little boy
played with a fire truck. His mother and father
smiled at me as they held the de-petaled heads—
fondly, combing their soft faces. On the ground,
so many seeds! It felt like the final revelation
for a long while. We laughed together, then,
the mother, father, and I, and the sunflowers
laughed too, because they knew the loss was not
a loss after all, and the sunflower seeds, too, joined
in our laughter, opening their pinched mouths,
and all together we were a high chorus and they sang
to me as I continued down the road, the many feet
of their voices carrying my small heartbreak.

Emily Luan is a Taiwanese American poet. A recipient of fellowships from the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, Art Farm, and the Fine Arts Work Center, her poetry can be found in Washington Square Review, PANK, Grist, Epiphany, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Rutgers University-Newark.

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