Had she fallen for me . . . that buttery yellow leaf?
Had she seen me walking, and of her own accord
detached to crash at my feet?
I heard her chafe on the sidewalk before she —
slender as a lance, but too stiff to dance on limbs —
gave up that life to chance
to find new stages, new lovers.
I meant to look back to commit her beauty to memory;
perhaps even to thank heaven for her sacrifice; But,
without warning, a gust of warm air rose and retook her,
guarding her from eyes lost in the paradise of a nearby bed,
a bed with exotic hibiscus flowers too beautiful to ignore.
The long style and red stamen in a drooping yellow petal surround
glowed on that mound to corrupt, yet I wished my own eyes to bleed
before such beauty ever went out of season.