greens - SJ Valiquett

he left things at my door

a milk crate

a little too small

for its desired purpose

a stack of records

rare and precious pressings

by an artist I didn’t care for

nothing I needed

but things he thought

I’d be pleased by

he brought me plants

over and over

he brought me plants

succulents

strawberries

herbs too big

for my modest windowsill

almost listening

but not quite committed

every leaf unfurling a

veiny expectation

blossoms pendulous

pregnant with the

whatever I could not read

in his tensions

maybe his reasons for

behaving the way he did

bringing me things I didn’t

know how to care for

never wanted to tend to

in the first place

until I was forest-deep

where he still couldn’t hear me

or see me

but kept bringing me

tiny cacti and

replacing the pansies

when I inevitably

killed them

again and again

I killed them

I read somewhere

that the human eye

can perceive more

shades of green

than any other colour

and over and over

I killed them.

Sarah Jean Valiquette is a queer white settler living and working on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh nations. She is an actor, an internationally published poet and photographer, and the creator and curator of the (re)markable project. She has a BFA from the University of Victoria and has studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the Banff Centre for the Arts. Her work has been published by Oratorealis Magazine, Queer Dot, Sapphic Writers Collective, Raven Review, Fatal Flaw Literary Magazine, Dog House Press, Emotional Alchemy, Cotelydon, Viscaria, Memoira Magazine, Porridge Magazine, and more- as well as in her first chapbook “Little Rebellions” which came out in 2019. You can find her online at www.sarahjeanvaliquette.com and on Instagram at @essjay.v

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