We keep our first lover for a long time —
if we do not get a second.

– La Rochefoucauld, Maxims

Will I ever receive flowers again? I never liked presents
that expire but he with his bouquets tried to change
that too. Always stargazer lilies, Oriental orchids,
heady-scented and heavy- headed. They were
surprises in raffia, two lilies and a medley of
minor blooms to a bunch: baby’s breath,
clusters of carnations like wet paint on
cotton balls. Had those flowers wilted
by the time you walked away? One
lily would be always be fully open,
the other still in its sharp bulb, so
the arrangement would last
longer, one flower dying
as the other bloomed
only to follow suit.


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