HAPPENSTANCE

I can’t trust the spring
of love from a flower shop that sells
such beautiful blooms of affection,
fated only to wilt in half-full vases.

Rootless perennials tell me they’re honest,
but it is their tendency to deceive;
I’d pick one out for you if not for the eventual
rotting repugnance of decomposing carbon.

Until then these flowers are admired as still-frame
images with smells that never sour,
but men like me, who sniff with a nose
that knows the resting place of a flower,

never fall for such a springtime air,
the thought of eternity in a snapshot.
Blossoms inevitably die after a mere season,
and too much will they brown and decay

on this short walk I take to see you.
True, I come flowerless for you,
but only because their reflection
of love is momentary, and their inescapable

doom to perish is always on my mind.
But the early snowdrop must
bloom before the sunflower’s
last bud or else love falls out

of order. When even summer
has past and winter must wallow in
self-pity, we still hold each other
by our gaze alone — your eyes

permeate mine in rays outlined
by lush lashes that speak –
not on behalf of a fated kiss
but the happenstance of

our first encounter:
caught childishly teasing you from afar,
I avoided you like those roses, but your eyes sprouted up
toward me, staring, and all I could do with all of my will

was shake my head in denial.
But you smiled as we went walking — then danced,
twirling into each other’s arms on accident,
locking our fingers in an unspoken sentence

no time of year could ever open,
and no mere silence can end.
Only attributing this chance to fate
breaks our slow stare into time-lapse.

I can’t trust the spring
of love from a flower shop that sells
such beautiful blooms of affection,
fated only to wilt in half-full vases.

Rootless perennials tell me they’re honest,
but it is their tendency to deceive;
I’d pick one out for you if not for the eventual
rotting repugnance of decomposing carbon.

Until then these flowers are admired as still-frame
images with smells that never sour,
but men like me, who sniff with a nose
that knows the resting place of a flower,

never fall for such a springtime air,
the thought of eternity in a snapshot.
Blossoms inevitably die after a mere season,
and too much will they brown and decay

on this short walk I take to see you.
True, I come flowerless for you,
but only because their reflection
of love is momentary, and their inescapable

doom to perish is always on my mind.
But the early snowdrop must
bloom before the sunflower’s
last bud or else love falls out

of order. When even summer
has past and winter must wallow in
self-pity, we still hold each other
by our gaze alone — your eyes

permeate mine in rays outlined
by lush lashes that speak –
not on behalf of a fated kiss
but the happenstance of

our first encounter:
caught childishly teasing you from afar,
I avoided you like those roses, but your eyes sprouted up
toward me, staring, and all I could do with all of my will

was shake my head in denial.
But you smiled as we went walking — then danced,
twirling into each other’s arms on accident,
locking our fingers in an unspoken sentence

no time of year could ever open,
and no mere silence can end.
Only attributing this chance to fate
breaks our slow stare into time-lapse.