Roses in Hand (2009)
By Matt Barrett
He sat on the bare metal chair in the public square, black diamonds composing the seat and back. Its blackness stood in contrast to the grayish cement. Aside from the color, they were both undomesticated things; cold, hard, and bare save the superfluous diamond-pattern someone had worked the metal into to make it more appealing, as if anyone really wanted to sit outside on a day like today in this cushion-less, life-less, piece of scrap metal posing as a chair. The brown saddening flaps of his coat drooping over the seat of his chair looked like dead plant leaves that have lost their lush color, their movements stiff in the wind. In his pale-white hand he held onto a bouquet. The scarlet petals fell at an unnaturally slow rate, landing in an emaciated pile at the tips of his once shiny shoes, reflecting the distorted face of a man defeated back up at him. One hand hung limply at his side while the other, full of life, was bleeding from clutching the thorns too tightly, the blood from his hand mixing in with the color of the flower petals. He hung in place on the chair, his back resting and his feet falling into the ground. He was gravity’s masterpiece, a great, but sad portrait, a time capsule… In his face you would see no emotion, no spark, no proof that there was a person inside of him. He was an empty shell of a man, waiting for one more thing in life, roses in hand.