Wall Flower

by Mercedes Rodriguez


I feel the rough 70s floral rug beneath my fingers

Orange and pink and yellow

I don’t have to see to know

I can trace the petals of the flowers in the dark

I know the track like the back of my hand


I don’t know what the back of my hand is


The velvet steps are to my left

My leg kicks at it as I try to move 

I feel the shape going up and down


They’re not steps, they’re risers

They circle me while I sit centered in the dark

The flowers follow up the risers, also carpeted


I am finally able to stand

I can’t see my past my hand in all this darkness

But I attempt to walk into it


I stumble and fall onto something rolling

Small and porous and round from what I can sense

Maybe fifty of them, no, more like hundreds


They crawl up my body and I make a run for it

Right into a cool metallic cage that I can see the slightest of shimmer

It’s like the bars of a jail cell


Am I in jail?


The cage has a keypad that’s open, I feel it

With a clink I scurry to remove the lock and plummet to the depths

Sticks of plastic and rubber and metal take me hostage


I can’t move, I can’t get up

I’m engulfed in a sea of the unknown and I’m stranded

Nothing but the ugly 70s floral rug to bring me comfort

And wrap me up tight till I can’t breathe and I’ve lost all hope