The magazine advised drying my bridal bouquet—
tying the stems to a hanger and letting
the sunflower heads dangle. But to watch
vibrant colors drain like blood
from the face of a dying man?
To intentionally harden each petal into crumble
at the slightest touch? Instead,
I parked my car across the street from my father’s grave
and dodged 5:00 traffic. I said nothing and left
my flowers to dry in the hot Kansas sun.
–Melissa Fite Johnson