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By Cynthia Zarin

This morning I was walking upstairs
from the kitchen, carrying your
beautiful flowers, the flowers you
 
brought me last night, calla lilies
and something else, I am not
sure what to call them, white flowers,
 
of course you had no way of knowing
it has been years since I bought
white flowers—but now you have
 
and here they are again. I was carrying
your flowers and a coffee cup
and a soft yellow handbag and a book
 
of poems by a Chinese poet, in
which I had just read the words “come
or go but don’t just stand there
 
in the doorway,” as usual I was
carrying too many things, you
would have laughed if you saw me.
 
It seemed especially important
not to spill the coffee as I usually
do, as I turned up the stairs,
 
inside the whorl of the house as if
I were walking up inside the lilies.
I do not know how to hold all
 
the beauty and sorrow of my life.


Cynthia Zarin, "Flowers" from Orbit.  Compilation copyright © 2017 by Cynthia Zarin.  Reprinted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.

Source: Orbit (Alfred A. Knopf, 2017)

  • Nature
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Poet Bio

Cynthia Zarin
Cynthia Zarin is a poet, journalist, and children’s book author. Zarin has received numerous awards for her work, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. She is married to the art dealer Joseph Goddu and currently lives in New York City. See More By This Poet

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