Two gardens.

I.

there is no gardener here
not anymore

the lock on the gate has rusted shut in certain places
kept secrets even from itself
some of the roses are just thorny bushes
and the wind isn’t always kind here
fractured sky, empty hand
walls savaged by winter exposure
there are weeds
some things have rotted
and in certain heavy corners, died
among the orphaned stones

you see, she
could not bear to remember
that flowers grew here, once

that very last day she
traced her fingers over rocks
glanced once around the iron hinges
and, looking outward, disappeared for good

and no one asks
because I am the only one who knows
that she is gone

II.

grace is not windowless, airless,
a flattering disguise
for the diseased,
a darkened room

grace is let there be light
and color and breath
so that these buds can once again
begin to bloom

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