The 2River View 18.2 (Winter 2014)

Claudia Serea

The flower of blood

After Imran Qureshi’s installation at the Met, New York, 2013

A flower of blood opens
on the rooftop overlooking Central Park

and another one on the asphalt below,
next to the black tire marks
and the little girl’s slipper.

Sirens wail
every time a flower of blood
opens in the city,
in a hospital room,

or at home,
in my father’s heart.

Other times,
it opens in silence,
in the face of the dying child
and the face of the mother holding him,

and in the mouth of the gun
that his brother holds.

100,000 flowers open in Syria,
a field of bleeding poppies,

and in every square of every city,
on every street,
and tv screen,

with every scream and explosion.

And the world watches the petals unfurl,
the breathtaking spectacle,
again and again.

No one can stop it,

and the world blooms
with pain.

A flower of blood opens on earth
and you can see it from space.

Claudia Serea immigrated from Romania to the United States in 1995. Her work has appeared in 5 a.m., Apple Valley Review, Meridian, New Letters, and Word Riot. Her books include Angels & Beasts, The System, and A Dirt Road Hangs From the Sky.

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