The Skeleton Flower by Lorette C. Luzajic

He is telling us about the woman with a thousand umbrellas. How her halls are lined with a garden of brollies, chevron, checkers, damask and chintz. She disappears when the clouds come close, dissipating into vapor, into the thin air. She collects umbrellas to prevent her own vanishing. She is shy to shower in front of him, he says, turning to glass in the mist, invisible in mizzle. She is transparent when she cries. You can see right through her, like a window. It took some getting used to, he acknowledges, loving a girl who almost isn’t there. Slippery when wet. She told him from the start the origin of her mystery- she was conceived in a grove of Diphylleia Grays. He explains: Diphylleia Grays are a woodland blossom, tiny and white. They transform to clear when watered, whether by hand or by dew. They look like crystal against the backdrop of leaves, so they are often called skeleton flowers. During the monsoons he grows lonely, he admits, but he is enchanted again and again by her strange and beautiful blooms. Look, he says, showing us a photograph of translucent efflorescence. See how her petals turn to rain.

Lorette C. Luzajic is an award-winning visual artist and a widely published writer of prose poetry and small stories. She is the editor of The Ekphrastic Review.