From behind my mask I probably said
to the clerk the flowers were pretty. Always
in our village on the blue counter where
you finish your business with the stamps.
From behind her plexi shield she said Yes,
they bring them over from the funeral home after.
Oh, I see now. That’s how those arrangements go—
cheap filler flowers doing most of
the work, almost everybody
choosing the economy option.
After that I noticed how many
dead one week or next.
Purple statice, papery, with
a hairy leaf, everlasting, invasive.
Latin name means of the meadows, but who
knows anymore from meadows.
All the long viral spring, snapdragons—
a personate flower, with two lips
that when squeezed from the sides
can be made to open and close,
giving an impression of life ongoing,
of the newly dead
trying to speak again.