One Year After (for will inman)
by Hillary Lyon

hugging a bouquet of red roses
under a street light she stands
looking over a parking lot shrine with no cross
just a mound of fresh flowers over dried
and grubby teddy bears and weathered notes
candle stubs and incense ends

she picks the prettiest rose
fresh and fragrant and full of poetry
lays it on the ground-shrine under this stuttering light
the red rose becomes purple becomes blue
cobalt blue and all the tears in the world
won't bring the crimson back

the night wind blows the stars away
and this little Earth twirls
and the flowers dry and their petals scatter
the words flutter off the notes and swirl skyward
like sacred incense
like a palimpsest soul set free

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