Over time, every one of them faded
the deepest colors, the most vigorous,
each in its own slow clockwork.
The rose of a boutonniere,
pocketed briskly in the aftermath
of some ancient wedding;
a postcard with bold letters:
“WELCOME TO NEW MEXICO”,
its printed sunset once brilliant;
a white handkerchief
with lace around the border,
a splotch of dried blood
toward one of its corners.
She would have considered herself a collector,
but she never could find
a means of preservation.
Each, after a period,
lost what life it had,
found itself removed from its redness,
became something different entirely.
Even the lips of an almost forgotten lover,
painted boldly in the evening,
by the light of the morning
had lost the fire of their hue.
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