Amie Sharp The 2River View, 8.4 (Summer 2004)

Anniversary Roses

They'll fade discordantly,
loveliness deserting them one at a time

to an afterlife of charred red.
For now each petal is affixed to its stem

by more than our passed days,
more than the weight of these years

we've stitched one to another.
Like us, they lean toward eternity,

an uncalendared horizon
disavowed but still claimed.

We know they'll have mornings
and evenings for roughly seven days,

then their frail necks will collapse
under gravity. For this instant,

they're triumphant in survival,
alive in the temporal moment,

unwittingly bending under our desire
to signify our love with their lives.

Later, we'll collect the broken
petals in a bowl, a memorial

to this day. Right now, we watch
the living roses strain below for water

and above for sunlight, and renew
our commitment with their color of blood.

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