by Greta Igl
The tulips have grown blowsy and dropped their petals. It seems like just days ago they were in full, vigorous bloom, their scarlet heads tossed skyward against the backdrop of verdant lawn. Freckles of sun filled their dewy cups, vessels of crimson overflowing with liquid gold. Now the cups have broken, leaving naked stalks.
I point this out to you over bran muffins and coffee from chipped mugs.
"So?" you say. "That's their normal cycle," and your paper shushes me as you disappear behind it.
Not long ago, we drank café au lait from paper-thin cups and ate buttery croissants off our wedding china. The sun turned the hairs on your arm into gold. The crinkle of your paper was a delicious whisper.
Now crimson petals lie on the mulch, clotted like blood. If only that brief bloom had lingered longer.
Greta Igl’s short fiction has been published by numerous literary magazines and anthologies, including Every Day Fiction, Boston Literary Magazine, Falling Star Magazine, and Word Riot. She is currently revising her novel Somewhere on the Road to Me.