Aloe: Affliction. Grief. Bitterness. I get a sunburn at your funeral. My mother slathers me with cheap aloe, sticky and dyed green. I bought an aloe plant cause I liked the way it felt when I pressed leaves between fingers and you told me aloe is for grief. I look it up after in the book you left behind soothing burnt, aching shoulders with vermouth from the family fridge. Page 30: bitterness and grief in floral language Break off a piece and squeeze until it bursts It tastes like shower cleaner and acid reflux the sound of my own voice in a snowstorm a shot of rubbing alcohol a still green banana that time you ate brie and yelled at me when you felt sick— ----------How could you let me
-----do this to myself?
Vanessa R. Bradley (she/her) loves fantasy novels and writes a lot of poetry about dirt, divorce, and discovering queerness. She lives in Epekwitk (PEI) with her wife, where she is working on a collection of poetry about the meaning of flowers. You can find her on Instagram @v.r.bradley and on Twitter @vanessarbradley.