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THE THIRD FLOWER by Kevork Kalayjian When I tried to conquer the secret of friendship, warmth and understanding, -its love- I was told -and it's too demanding it needs nurturing, it needs attention, you have to give up some ideals here, sacrifice preferences, reshuffle your goals earthly or otherwise, and must concentrate on loving the flower you choose-. I went to the rose, which was vibrant and wild, her fragrance was uncommon, and her touch was magical, and she asked me if I could love her, "just a little bit", and I asked her, if she could love me, just a little bit. -My love is as little as the evening stars- she said, -my dedication is as shallow as the bottom of the ocean, my generosity is as scarce as the desert sand, but my love lasts only three minutes, three hours, three days, three weeks, three months, three ... that's all. And I went to the flower, the one in full bloom, the one, which had seen rain and hail, and many snowstorms, and she had endured all the tests of life. Not only she had survived, but she had also blossomed with proud and pretty offsprings. She was the embodiment of experience with dignity. Can you accept love? I asked. Can I accept love? She teased, -Not only I can accept but I can give the real deep love for the right person. Maybe I am not the best -she continued- but definitely, I am just me, I can receive the real love to come; I can deliver the true love to be. -Look, I have some love in me- I said, gently touching her stem. -Let go of my stem she yelled, you're holding me so tight, you're stopping my circulation, my nutrients don't reach my petals, let go before they loose their luster. Your love is too much pressure, I cannot take your burden, and I don't want to give you tension. Please let us depart again, greet each other like strangers again, you can look at me every day, and deep inside you may even crave for me, cry for me, but don't express any of those sentiments to me. Otherwise, I won't talk to you ... ever! So I collected the fragments of my sanity, and I moved them to a distant storage space, in a faraway field, where among other things the sun also rises at approximately 5:25 AM. -- Kevork K. Kalayjian, Jr. A graduate of the AGBU's Melkonian Educational Institute, Nicosia, Cyprus, holds a B.A. in Political Science and Economics from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Rutherford, NJ, a M. Ed. Counseling Psychology, from WilliamPaterson University, Wayne, NJ, and CPA requirements completed at Pace University, NYC. Kevork resides in NY with his wife Maral, and three sons Aramazt, Tro, and Ohanes. A descendant of survivors of the Genocide from the town of Kilis, in the Cilician region of Armenia, an accountant by profession, he likes to paint and write. His next project is to collect the names of 100 volunteer Armenian-American families who would like to resettle in Armenia and jump-start a new way of work and life there. Some of his poems have been published in literary periodicals such as "Ararat" and at www.poetry.com.