On Floriography

If you often find yourself at a loss for words
or don’t know what to say to those you love,
just extract poetry out of poverty, this dystopia
                            of civilization rendered fragrant,
             blossoming onto star-blue fields of loosestrife,
heady spools of spike lavender, of edible clover
                            beckoning to say without bruising
a jot of dog’s tooth violet, a nib of larkspur notes,
                        or the day’s perfumed reports of indigo
                                in the gloaming—
              what to say to those
                           whom you love in this world?
Use floriography, or as the flower-sellers put it,
Say it with flowers.
—Indigo, larkspur, star-blue, my dear.

About this Poem

“This poem explores the ancient practice of floriography, the coded language of flowers, as a way to express human love through the use of fragrance, colors, and vivid symbolism. By elucidating the phenomenon of florescence alongside the art of floral arrangement, the poem encourages readers to extract poetry and beauty out of a dystopic world.”
Karen An-Hwei Lee