The Opening Of A Blossom

The opening of a blossom
reminds me of birth and death
but—all at once!—the strange
transformation of aging balances
between the budding and
the fading; the flower spent
its youth already, yet it remains
full of promise; the blossom
peaks out, hints at itself
with a swirled petal, an
unfurled leaf that cups
the edge of a blossom tenderly,
like how a lover would hold a face
between his anxious hands…

I imagine a great bell
in two dimensions, a graph
of life and death itself, with
the edges held in place by the
bloom and by its reverse, the anti-bloom:
the final contraction of petal against petal
into the blossom’s drying death-bed.

And these are my favorite flowers:
budding or drying, full of life or
full of death but still
full of beauty either way.
It’s like the beginning and ending of a song;
it’s like a grandson on his grandmother’s lap;
it’s like early Spring and late Summer—
a single season pure, filled with only either
promise or memory, and the full bosom
of hope and regret.

In fact, I think I wish
I could order bouquets just like that:
filled with blooming and fading
with the young rose tight and supple
and the dried rose ravished and graceful;
I hope that when I die
I remain just a wilted form,
an echo of every decade of my life
nestled deep within my leathery petals…