The Perfect Pinecone

By Karla Cordero

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They walk through the park holding each other’s hands like crazy glue had met their palms. Ben picks up an object he finds buried beneath the tall grass. “For you, the perfect pinecone,” he says. Jane laughs, holds the pinecone to her nose, and breaths in the scent from yesterday’s rainfall. She scrunches her nose and sneezes, loosening a few seeds from the pinecone. The seeds sneak down into her blouse and nuzzle in between her small breasts. “Bless you!” said Ben.

The next day Ben calls Jane only to be teased by the voice of her answering machine. Three days later, still no answer. Ben questions whether he did or said something to upset her. He jumps into his car and rushes over to Jane’s house. Jane’s Toyota sits parked in her driveway. He knocks on the door, noticing a small leaf sprouting from the keyhole. Ben pulls at the leaf and unlocks the door with a spare key from under the welcome mat. An explosion of green vegetation camouflages a home no longer familiar. The carpet is thick with moss. Vines spread along the living room ceiling, fencing in the chimney. Shrubs furnish the counter tops and a single frog croaks inside the kitchen sink. Down the hallway, gardenias reframe family photos. The walls are painted with fern leaves. Sobbing escapes from Jane’s door. “Jane are you ok?” “Don’t come in, please, go away!” He opens the door. A forest oasis grows from Jane’s breasts. She cries profusely on her bed. Tears stream down her face, watering the wild garden on her chest. A squirrel runs across the room and hides behind a bush by her nightstand. Ben looks at Jane, “You are absolutely beautiful.”

Karla Cordero