These roses have gone down well.
Blanched of mauve glory and robbed
of their satin, a darkening edges
veined petals in stark relief, the buds
now fossils of their becoming.
I tend them as if freshly sheared from
the bush, as if their fragrance still sang
of Spring. Beauty, bundled
to draw death out into a drawl, into
a dream you simply never wake from.
Dying lovely on my table, their heads
unbowed even as their stems soften
and turn nightshade in the water I change
daily, lavishing the care I don't have time for,
rinsing their rot from my fingers.
The key to ruin? Letting rot languish
no matter one's state.
Whether I ever hear them or not,
their elegantly withered bodies blare
in the afternoon light,
grace is always grace!