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"My Dying Diane" by Ellie McElvain

To Diane the Guzmania,

My sweet bromeliad

“Durable plant;

dramatic central flower”,

You’re dying.

You’re dying and

it is beyond my abilities

to save you


The bruises along

the center of your

once triumphant leaves

look painfully emotional

You’re a tough bitch, Diane

And I hate failing you

I hate that goddamn

shady windowsill

that refused to reach the sun

Smallpox, black lung, ebola

are nothing compared to the horrifying

crawl of pure isolated decay

You’re still here

And that dramatic central flower

carries itself with the dignity

and humility

of a defeated Atticus Finch

This can’t be a cliched metaphor

for my life, my love life, my emotional stability,

my general mental state,


it’s not about me.

It’s about you, Diane.

Diane. Durable. Dramatic.

You deserve more.



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