It isn’t gone yet if it can open

~ after Armando Valero, “Memory of a Dreamed Blue Flower

It is autumn again and we gather
the leaves that fall seemingly without
ceasing. The painter looks at a scroll
of vines and paints their likeness
on panels of orange silk, as if to say
there is another world where all we love
could go on living; where we won’t
have to hold up our hands in surrender,
or hold them over our hearts as if we know
the great ache of what is coming—
your watch, resting undisturbed under a film
of yellow pollen, the hour hand gone,
the minute fixed at four o’clock; my dress,
its rows of embroidered volutes fading
against a field of rubbed velvet.
You want to pluck the last surprising,
misplaced bloom of the season but I
won’t let you. Come away— let’s
think of it there, fixed on its branch,
throat all the way open as we walk
back into our lives and work,
arms linked or swinging.

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