If you are the one to discover
the final flower,
throw off the habitual garments,
the coat of ennui,
for you will have much to do.
You must become the soil of it
lending even your blood to that
its frail petals that offer
their lips to you the savior.
Bend your nakedness to the task
of preservation for what can be
more than this,
the surrender to beauty,
to all its waning needs.
And if you fail they will call
you no better than death itself,
you the failed agent of such a
task, you the one with the chalice
in the palm of your hand.
And you will be the single chosen one
to compose the songs of inconsolable
loss, you the elegist who lost what you
found, who now must carve in the hardness
of stone what cannot be.
--for Nancy Burd