It is a funereal garden, tended from obligation. The owner died four years ago and a son tends it with the mindlessness of a Roomba. The roses, once nurtured with daylight and generosity, live on a chemical cocktail and hydrogen dioxide. From the outside, it looks to be a paradise; on the inside, you can hear its mechanical heart laboring.
The owner quits the garden and hires a boy, thirteen and cognizant of the thorns of roses. He borrows his landlord’s jumper cables and strikes a spark in the wheels and cogs. The electroshocks, applied each spring, evaporate the memory of grief into the summer breeze.
Maria S. Picone has an MFA from Goddard College. She’s interested in cultural issues, identity, and memory. As a Korean adoptee in an Italian American family and a New Englander, her obsessions with noodles, seafood, and the ocean are hardly her fault. Her fiction appears in Monday Night Lit, talking about strawberries all of the time, and Progenitor Art and Literary Journal. www.mariapicone.com
See more of Maria's work in 8.3 and 8.3 again