The Plants in my Life
The spider plants need some meat on their bones. I ordered protein shake mix (secret ingredient: steroids) so they can bulk up. My husband swears plants will gulp anything dripped into their soil, but I order the sunshine flavored shake just to be sure they will take their medicine.
A depressed flower droops: we all can recognize our expressions exhibited in plants. I try not to be cruel. I endeavor to be a kind person. I regret what I said about them when I realized they worry about their appearances, just like us. Plants are drawn, nosy, to the window. I agree: light has always seemed delicious. Unlike me, plants stop eating when they’re full.
I don’t tell my plants that my college boyfriend’s dad killed each tree in their yard: his retirement hobby. He slit a ring around each tree’s throat, their sap bled out. I actually asked: is it possible to bandage a tree’s slit throat? My college boyfriend retorted something. Retorted. I don’t tell my plants.
I only took care of a flowering plant once—one of my cats bit off the solitary flower three hours after it bloomed. I checked their mouths to see if I could figure out who was the culprit, but the flower was the exact same pink as their predator tongues. It claimed to be a cactus but it never taught the cats a prickly lesson. Now my husband suspends all the plants from ceiling pots.
After he feeds all of them water, he catches the overflow in various bowls and pitchers, vases, the roasting pan. The sound of our house is the sound rain makes on metal awnings. I suspect our apartment may have secretly turned itself inside out.
Valerie Loveland is the author of Reanimated, Somehow (Scrambler Books) and the forthcoming Female Animal (Dancing Girl Press). Her poetry has been featured in Dzanc Book's Anthology Best of the Web and the Massachusetts Poetry Festival. She enjoys running, audio poetry, and silent movies.
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