Flower

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My real birthday was going to New York, she says, telling me a bit about the trip

Her eyes, sometimes bruised with fatigue, for one second, shoot stars

The same light I saw almost fifteen years ago, when she started to tell me

“The most romantic thing,” and stopped, blushing

She had just had her nails and hair done, and her already big smile

Flashed like a sign growing out of the desert, all neon radiance

And cool curves

This girl was in love with my brother,

She told me, shyly, and I paused

As all their joy spread out before me: the two of them holding hands under the table

At their wedding dinner,

Where we were instructed, in graven words to be

“Alert for love!”

There she is surrounded by white peonies, laughing and laughing,

My little brother looking on, a bit winded

Having collided with this great, gorgeous creature,

Having white petals fall like a blizzard

All over and always, shining.

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