The Flash and the Fade

My face is flushed.
I am touched again
By brevity, and the severity
Of overturned nests
And untended graves.

She stands brave,
Shields and flags and
Empty scabbards,
Foils and sharps and
A parry too late.

Each breath a rebellion,
From a bloody womb
Into a bloody world
A white-fisted petal,
A nightingale in a jar.

Siege the inevitable,
Voices only composed
Of exhaled air
Songs diminished,
Replaced, interred.

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