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At the Florist (After American Beauty).

Today I wandered

Into a flower shop


David Austin roses

Puffy like mushroom caps

Three dollars a stem


Statuesque stock

Arching their backs

Botanical swans


I could not spare

The eighteen dollars

For the sweet posie

Its dimples shining through the mason jar

Fireflies in a vase


So I settled on a single bloom:

A carnation, two-fifty a stem

It is the colour your earlobes turn

When you squeeze them


The colour of a screaming newborn

Your mother’s lipstick

Your bridesmaids’ dresses


It is the colour of impossible wishes

The hope that flits around our heads

Too quick for the crush of our fists


Now it stands upright

Preening its tulle petticoat

The cheap ceramic of the vase

Holding its bones like a plaster cast


Each layer of petals a gyrus

A reminder

Of transience

Of frustration

Of beauty.

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Christian Lacroix

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