Addis Abeba, 3 a.m.


“They are leaning out for love / they will lean that way forever” –Leonard Cohen

These precious, fragile petals
are drooping now.

All sustaining essence cut,
grown cloudy in the
steel cabin oven.

The threat of ejection,
at this hour,
triggers a slow, mournful
hemorrhage of tears.

We know — perhaps even
more viscerally — this
frustrated pulse, restraining
ourselves only with a
familiarity born of greater years.

And yet we yield the less resilience.

Moments later, quenched by
simple sleep and a gentle laying
on of hands, their six irises again
gaze petal-perfect, their

stems stand straighter still than beforehand,

lithely and literally
toward the growing sun.

[Bole International Airport, May 24, 2017]

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