Glass Flowers

~ after "On Extreme Fragility" (Homage to Blaschka),
Anne Poirier, Patrick Foirier, with Pino Signoretto (blown, 
hot-worked glass, 2003)

These flowers traveled here
by ship, so we could learn 

of beauty in decay. Botany 
reaped from heated melt, 

cooled then wrapped 
in cardboard sheets, wire,

straw, burlap. Meadow lily, 
spiked panic grass, toothed 

angel's trumpet. I wanted
to glimpse the future from a ruin 

of parts: powdery stamen, 
broken annulus and spathe; 

blade of the lamina rowing 
through the vacant garden.

When no one was looking, 
I tried to touch the shards

that looked like mouths
or falling knives. I tried

to imagine the hearse
that held them in its satin

pleats, that crowned them
lucid, even in death.

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