a tulip in decline

our love
was a tulip bulb
carefully planted
in the fall
through friendship
during the long
cold months
until one day
i witnessed it
within her gaze
every chance i had
to kiss her
as the plant
to fill her iris
with soft pink petals
thriving under our
affectionate care

like all
things of beauty
the eye soon
sees them as
until one day
as i leaned in
to kiss her
all i saw
was the wilted
glory of pink
gone ashen gray
she looked at me
as i paused
an inch
from her lips
she saw
the same reflection
of a tulip in decline

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