You can paint flowers
in the asylum
unfurling through irises
your first full day all indigo
Easy to paint
when they bring your meals
and change your sheets
and keep you from eating
your own colors of lead and wonder.
A painting every two days
to out-create the redness
wavering through the night cafe
or the lines of Baby Marcelle crumbling
beneath your promises to the postman.
Despite the dark
your nights carry
wheat fields on the wind
swirling against the starry night
as you memorize the stars’ courses
on nights too full for sleep.
Your endless sunflowers dried up,
you’ll embrace that village below
in browns and taupes and pinks
once you’re well enough
to taste the almond blossoms.
By Sara Doan
Sara C. Doan (she/her) is a writing professor and emerging poet located near Atlanta, Georgia. When she’s not teaching and researching design strategies for equity in health communication, she enjoys wandering through art museums, baking too many scones, and sewing her own clothing in large floral prints and jewel tones.