A mummified cat sits above your head.
A man’s ashes trap time in the wall.
You say you crave life, will wrest it from this showcase
parlor of your mother’s house. Her gilt-laden fingers fashion
keepsakes, off-kilter veils, velveteen nooses
from skinned teddy bears. Go out the window.
Japonica flares, no one dares cut the tangles,
her garden bursting with belladonna lilies,
livid chartreuse iris, the zinnia called Envy, bleeding hearts.
Angelica gigas guards orchids engorged by aphids.
Somber purple persica, columbine and Queen of the Night
adorn the still beating mausoleum
of her heart. She has set you up
with options. Refuse her.
I plan for your arrival, sow green basil and apple trees.
My cannas grow fat. Choose life. Choose me.
©2017 Ayala Hecht
Ayala Hecht is a proud graduate of the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars. She resides in Baltimore, Maryland. Botanical is her second poem to be published in Recycled.