“409” by K.J. Kindling

I stopped watering
my plants
	because I had
		nothing
	left to give.
I moved into an apartment
bathed in natural light
put the plants on a window sill and said,
	“Don’t die.”
When my favorite plant
	didn’t bloom
	I assumed I broke it, too.
I spent that whole summer
	somewhere between
		sweltering and wilting.
I couldn’t afford
	the windows
	the kitchen island,
	the closet,
	the hardwood floors
	let alone, the heating.
This house
	was my
	last ditch effort
		to save my plants.
Four seasons
of rewriting all the pain
my life has ever known,
	of swallowing, “I’m okay’s,”
		every
		single
		time
I looked in the mirror.
Of pruning dead leaves
	like pulling at summer skin.
Of crumpling up hope
	like bad poems on scratch paper.
Of breaking etched bones
	to see if I
	really needed them.
Four seasons
	of relearning the shape
	a mouth makes
		before a kiss.
Of endless explanations
	to my couch hoping friends
	why the futon
		couldn’t be unfolded.
Of everyone committing
	to only pouring one and other’s
		drinks.
Of slow key turns, and cold nose hellos,
	and, wouldn’t you know it,
	four seasons later-
it bloomed.

unnamed
KJ Kindling is an author that currently resides in Denver, Colorado. She’s a seventh generation Coloradoan, a life long poet, a romantic, a rescue dog advocate, a feminist, and a naturalist. She’s currently working on getting her first book published, Arcadia or Bust. To follow that journey and read more of her writing, find her on Instagram at @kj.kindling.

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