Once she had been lifted and placed and rearranged like a failed bouquet

Kimberly Dixon-Mays

“…once she had been lifted
and placed and rearranged
like a failed bouquet”
–Keith Ridgway, The Parts

I do not know these spotted, mottled leaves;
the edges curl like papers once acclaimed –
their longest life in inkless memory.

They move me room to room for brightest spot,
a place my colors will run out to greet
the walls and fabrics we say planted me.

We say they are my roots when real roots lie
outside, within the shed with rippled roof,
the one that keeps the time in rusted drips.

It touches, how they shuffle me with guilt,
as if they were the ones to curve my stems
and sour my water – them, and not the days.

They place and place me, always one side turned
from doorways toward a wall, or window pane
where I may watch hard buds reach down to dirt
victorious beyond my glassed-in failure.

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