I stumble upon some unlikely, perennial blossoms
amongst the weeds of my
walk.

Because I love pressing
flowers, and I love to have pressed flowers, I bent
low
to the ground in search of choice
blooms.

I find myself reaching
for the best ones,
the most perfect buds,
bright and breathing.

This instinct for careful discernment is odd. Why do I need to pick
those flowers that are screaming, “I am alive!” to kill
between
the pages of a heavy book?

I pause.

The question confounds me but I go on reaching for those
stems with the most whole offerings.

The truth is, I like to watch the flowers die;
to see them fade and
to myself be the cause of their deterioration.

But it is equally true that I feel the keenest pleasure,
relief almost,
when I notice how much my
pressed flowers
retain their pigmentation, hold fiercely onto their color.

I bury
these blooms in dust and paper,
with all the zeal of one holding a lump of coal, trying to make a diamond through squeezing and strife, only to then
pluck them out
from between the pages of the book, and marvel that they are vibrant matter still.

Changed, but still lovely, despite all my efforts.