It was a gift to himself,
the bouquet,
and was by no means a mystery
any more than a Santa Ana or a pimple
purchased by neglect
or chance
or by forgotten past deeds.


He let himself.
It was singly important
and somewhat fetid
drowning in the spare moment that had found him
outside, careless and angry
over the firing of a fellow employee.


The scar would be long in healing
powered by revenge brown and swarthy,
tearing itself open in pursuit
as a muscled pilgrim in an unholy land.


And he could describe his passion as healthy,
made so by an adopted acceptance of all feelings:
bequeathed and beleaguered as his now past friendship,
or the flowers at the writer's table.