sometimes you buy dollar-store flowers and stick them in a vase and pretend they’re real.

a big vase, and every time you look at the table you smile at the color on those synthetic petals and think about the soil that lies like a grave beneath the snow, and you remember new things when the days seem so old, and it feels like a kiss does, when you’re so sad you can’t even blink.

sometimes you smell those flowers and think of your friend who sat at this table and ate the cookies you made for her, the cookies with real milk chocolate chips and real butter because your mother in law makes them that way and it reminds your husband of home, your friend who bought purple tulips at the grocery store in january because to her, they were spring, and even though they would die in a week, it was worth it for the seven days of bloom.

and they smell like plastic but that’s okay because you’re not so deluded that you think they’re real, and then you cry a little because you realize you are, and you sit down and eat a cookie and you begin to count your blessings, because that’s what Christians do when they’re sad, and you’re counting them off on your fingers when it happens.

the mystery that is synthetic flowers that is chocolate chip cookies that is a surprise kiss, the feeling that i can do all things because someone bigger than me lives inside of me, and i don’t understand it, but i’ll live every day trying to, and when the snow finally melts, everything will finally make sense and i won’t have to try so hard anymore.