Impermanence, Elegance

by Shaun Terry

Walls are never walls the way we think of walls.
Illusion-walls
are temporary obstacles signaling shifting safety.

With the sensibility of a post-Soviet cynic,
everything built eventually falls.
Sometimes, foreign forces pull low
the falling things.

La jardinière took care choosing
flora and grooming plants
with patience.

But innocent flowers, trees, ground, air, water,
and un étranger innocent conspired
in treacherous understandings and impulses
(unbeknownst to anything or anyone, including themselves)
and incidental, clandestine movements.

In an ephemeral instant of innocent ruination,
a blaze emancipated le jardin belle—
embers inching upward, lighting up the night.
La jardinière watched with
patience and bewilderment
like the peculiar end
of an Andrei Tarkovsky film.
She knew none intended harm;
she mourned her masterpiece,
imagining a new place for love.

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