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The ones past prime, you said to pinch
or slide from foam, no longer proper part
of the arrangement. Holdouts, the prim
and powdered who upheld their dignity,
erect as debutantes, those you condensed
from opulent to spare, a final spear fitting
your smallest vase. So I discard this lank,
formerly pink lily. Freckled petals drop,
expose three bulging nubs, the bald
indecent stigma. Out. I scrap a larkspur,
its pert nectary shriveled. An upside-down
sunflower, sepals hung in ranks, a leather
crown. My hand descends upon a shrunk
gayfeather. Then I see you, so composed
in bed at eighty, a gray seedhead staked
to plastic. Those taped lines, machinery
winching up the hardly dented pillow.
You open cornflower eyes. The clinician,
leaning over, gasps, “But you are beautiful!”


Kristin Camitta Zimet is the editor of The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review and the author of the poetry collection Take in My Arms the Dark. Widely published and anthologized, she also has performed her poetry in museums and concert halls.

© 2013, Kristin Camitta Zimet

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