Nobody knows why Tom collected only stamps with flowers on them. Perhaps he spent his final lucid days in his sunroom, penning letters to women who once courted him with their silence. When they spoke, their voices came in wispy penmanship, the ends of their S’s tucked meekly into the letters preceding them, like smooth legs folded under sheer camisole. Maybe he never wrote to anyone at all but simply mused over what it would feel like to gaze on, upward and unblinking like a sunflower and still get lost in the mail.
Tom’s collection was abundant but not exhaustive. Most notable was its lack of purple: no clusters of lilac, dizzying asters, fair-faced violets. The weeds, however, flourished, both dandelion the maned and dandelion the beheaded by wish or wind. He cherished his Japanese sets and referred to them affectionately as My Sakura, cherry blossom or otherwise. Nobody knows how Tom’s collection amassed. Some say he sifted fervently through discarded envelops. Ot