No Hope of Decline
by Adrian Koesters

This tea rose opens like a duster
unfurling its canary secrets,
promising the alacrity of new love,
wasting water in and out
of its celadon stem. A poor icon,
the rose, printed on satchels,
baby-cases, cut into the whorls
of driftwood, carved even under
the gravel chips you once placed
on your mother’s gravestone,
and thought, how terrible to be
lightly opening there forever,
a gutted marble assurance
always just about to close.

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