A derivative of French or lion’s tooth, they are often collected and thrown away.
There was that time in the springtime while others soaked each other with water guns and I gathered as many dandelions as I could carry, and gave them all to her. Called them a bouquet of shine. When she kissed my cheek, her spit burned a hole into my lips and I dripped a nervous waterfall. I said to her: They close at night. Kind of like a blink that forgets what to do.
She was used to roses or carnations and fell in love with the way I gave unwanted things like weeds and skin a chance.
Recently, she called me up. I could smell the milky latex on her breath from all those times I cracked the stems open out of anger. She told me she missed my weeds and wondered if I could love her again.
Sometimes time passes in a way that we can never go back. Then, we notice that dandelion amidst the rocks and stubbled grass. This one is white and frazzled like furry static. It reminds us that wishes never outgrow us. And love is just one step away. Or pluck of green from ground.
When you are least prepared, someone somewhere will give you flowers. They will not come with packet full of powder meant to dilute water into something stronger than tap. They will not be wrapped in cellophane or tissue paper. The stems will not be choked in ribbon and there will not be a portable shelter like vase or pot to house them in. They will not be carefully cut or angled toward a collision of colors.
These flowers will still reek of earth. They will be clumsy and stolen. They will still have bees burrowed into their petals.
They will be far more beautiful than any florist’s version because these flowers will be tangled into the fleshy fondle of her fingers.
When I was a child, for a brief time, my father delivered flowers to my mother every Friday. They arrived like romantic love letters hidden inside various wildflowers and baby’s breath. Each bouquet was different and boasted the most glorious scents and colors. As quickly as this ritual began, it ended just the same.
There have been many times in my life where flowers found their way toward me. Weaved into bicycle basket. Clasped by rubber windshield washer against cracked car window. Hidden in messy, black converse. Beneath pillow. Worn within the knots of my hair. Delivered to a bar on an evening when poetry got pushed through the deepest of microphones.
My favorite way of getting flowers is noticing them in their natural setting. I like studying their grip and pondering how deep their roots go. I do not need to take them home to fondle their silky texture. Sometimes, romance needs to stay where it first began. To honor its origin without ripping it out.
And put your phones away. All this beauty will still exist even if you do not photograph it. All of this elegance is far more romantic when we just digest its moment.
And no one needs to know. Because the one who first weaved that dandelion, sparkling and golden, within fingers is all that matters now.