Untitled (Purple Petunia)
"Nothing is less real than realism... details are confusing. It is only by selection,
by elimination, by emphasis, that we get at the real meaning of things."
The petunia is beheaded, fills the canvas edge
to edge. Interlacing pear-shaped petals kaleidoscope
around three, or maybe four, small pale blue dots
that demarcate a centre. The colour is the plum of those
taken from the icebox (so sweet and so cold). A plum
for tasting where it lies sprawling on a rumpled
sheet. I know the psychobabble of O'Keeffe's flowers,
how hearing it at first in college, I was angry, so
I looked away. It seemed a nasty thing to do, interpreting
a woman's close attention to a thing equal to
pubescent navel gazing. For years, I couldn't see
amidst the rumors, the sexy callas, O'Keeffe's defiant
wrinkled arms. Before all that, there was this plum
petunia, plucked and given all her thought, alone
in its asking, look. Surrounding noises curtained off,
it becomes an open face, a cup of sweetness over-ripe
just some moments from decay. Spackle speculation
over top, it sloughs it off, continuing to be nothing
other than only what it is.
Jen Stewart Fueston
Jen Stewart Fueston lives in Longmont, Colorado. Her work has appeared recently in Ruminate, Mom Egg Review and Pilgrimage, and is forthcoming in The Windhover, Whale Road Review, and others. Her first chapbook, Visitations, was published in 2015. She has taught writing at the University of Colorado, Boulder, as well as internationally in Hungary, Turkey, and Lithuania. You can find her online at www.jenstewartfueston.com and on twitter @jenniferfueston
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