The white daylily opens its throat

in the middle of the sympathy bouquet 

and sends out its pungent note.
The roses and carnations can't compete,

but they would rather smell like vanilla
or melted crayons. I read somewhere

that perfume was invented in order to mask
the smell of bodies that couldn't bathe

every day or didn't want to. I wish
I didn't have to taste the cocktail

of acid and bile that swirls around
my insides when I'm driven

to the apex of anxiety, but I haven't
learned to pretend disinterest.

The flowers are a composition that means
we're beautiful because we're going

to perish. They're paper-white, eggshell-
white, ivory beginning to yellow. And

even after they're gone I smell their
sorrowful musk in my hair, on my fingers.

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