What Blooms

Cait Weiss

Our father buys lilies at Casa de Flores, but in Noir,
           men hold scarves in their laps. Have daughters hot
as greenhouses. Daughters peeling

their clothes off like leaves. Our father buys flowers
           because he’s messed up. Invited
Mom’s least favorite of all his friends home.

Podge & I learn from Mr. Florin
           not to trust an unbudding. Not to trust
an eros lily slipping out of its sheath.

March comes. My sister maroons herself
           on a foam float in our pool. All sand’s
concrete. Encino Ocean. She is pure tan California

pre-tween. Mr. Florin tells our father
           he buys young girls in Thailand.
Our father tells Mom, who spits beer

through her teeth. All men are monsters.
           Not all monsters
are men. We study Loch Ness

in third grade. Podge & I whisper Nessie lives
           in our pool late at night. She swims
in sapphire, in five hundred watt bulbs. The pool light

& the moon. The moon & Mr. Florin.
           A twelve-year-old child.
Mom writes a thick note with Sharpies.

My girls—the note starts. Everything pale
           gets pressed flat at some point.
All monsters aren’t monsters.

Podge floats off
           to deep space. Mom uncaps
one pill bottle, then another. Mr. Florin takes the red-eye.

Our father carries a port glass to the pool outside.
           Mom swallows. Mom
swallows. Nessie swims out to flower pots

beyond the light switch. All girls skinny
           dip late at night. Mom will recover,
go under, recover. Mr. Florin flies back in the fall.

Our moon grows red. Our pool light burns out.
           Our valley clings tight to each petal
as each petal flutters stupidly, time-stamped & silent,

in no way prepared for the dark.