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  • I’m traumatized.
    It was only her name, but every time I see a flower I think of Lily Rose.
    The sight of an orchid or carnation sprouts a moment followed by a collection of images
    like flowers in a bouquet of nostalgia blossoming at the same time.
    That day we met stands out like an urban garden like a colorful oasis in a sea of grey.

    Lily Rose was gynocentrist.
    Quick to diss women who used the word, “bitch,” as a term of endearment.
    I was gyno-whooped, and therefore also a gynocentrist, and hated the B-word.
    Lily Rose was ambitious. 4.0 GPA.
    She had a supermodel’s posture and an upright stem for a spine.
    She constantly read, always reading for enlightenment.
    It always stung when the spotlight was on her. I’d yell, “Yo, be, that’s my girl!”
    And swat boys buzzing and claiming stripes, trying to gas her.
    I’d blame Lily Rose like she was the hoe when others tried getting her wet.

    Fertilizer happens.
    Lily Rose’s friends said I wasn’t her kind, and brought temptation from elsewhere.
    Eventually they brought news from the other whom they considered her kind.
    Finding Lily Rose being pollinated by someone else nipped whatever we had in the bud.

    I was in the dark and under the wrong, first impression.
    I would’ve been prepared if her name was Gertrude instead of Lily Rose.
    Something less feminine and less disarming than Lily Rose
    But there were no red flags like bitten petals or thorns because Lily Rose was no rose.
    And now I can’t help thinking a bitch is a bitch is a bitch.

    John Paul Infante
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