Two of them, grown on the same stem, swaying against a field of lighter purple-and-yellow cousins.
They are not truly black, of course. The slant of the 7:45am sun burnishes their darkness, pulling their true tint—a plangent shade of abyssal sanguine-purple—to the surface of the rumpled petals. Caressing from them a gleam too subtle to be satiny, too tender to be silken.
They should seem out of place. It is a lovely spring morning, sun already coaxing cerulean from the sky; the all-but-black flowers shimmering slowly, entrancingly, in front of their more vivacious cousins should tarnish that liveliness.
They do not.
They make everything, everything—the other flowers, even the sky—more vivid.
Their pale cousins are more luminous in the black blooms’ shadow. And if the cheerful, slender purple prettiness seems shallower than the sinuous elegance of the dusky blossoms swaying (slower, more…deliberate) in the same breeze as they… Still, that prettiness is blazoned more brilliantly on the morning for the presence of those inky crimson-purple petals.
The cant of the morning light itself is sharper, its angle more acute, for the deep heartsblood stain it strikes from the soft weaving of the two entwined stems.
They are arresting. Enthralling. Heartbreaking. Resplendent.
And I will stare at them a few seconds too long before snapping to myself. Before making myself leave. Before parking and walking slowly towards the rest of a day that’s been rearranged by a lustrous dark beauty.
Before wondering what it is in contrast, chiaroscuro—darker shades of shadow—that lets me see more clearly.
[For my friend Andrea, a woman who brightens all around her.]