I ate that little pack of sunflower seeds you gave me
as the train wound through the mountains
that would soon stand between us.
I ate them one by one,
not beginning on the next
until I’d swallowed all of the prior.
It didn’t matter that I’ve never been too fond of sunflower seeds,
because I wouldn’t have been too fond of anything right then.
Whether it was those little seeds,
or filet mignon, or oysters in a shell,
it would have only tasted like the sadness,
like the distance, like things that had been
but were no more.
It would have tasted like the slimy gray flavor of
“This is for the best”
and would have reinforced the belief
that this so often said
when it really truly isn’t.
You can imagine, I’m sure, how drawn out
the process of eating a little bag of sunflower seeds is,
but what you probably can’t imagine is
just how many of those little suckers there are,
even the most miniature bag.
I ate those little bullets like that for the entirety
of the 90 minute trip,
and there were still four left in the bag
when we pulled into station.
I shook them into my hand and
hurled them into the adjacent field
as far as they could go.
Perhaps a bird would find them;
maybe then it wouldn’t all be loss.