Packed together in the small ceramic cylinder, they stretch and curve to find the nearest light. The purple that was once a deep and vibrant purple has faded slightly to a light plum color. The edges maintain their color, but the insides are turning cream and white.
They are open now, firm and proud. The lucky ones have found their own space to move and dance among the crowd. Yellow dust falls onto the glass surface below, ready to fly away with a whisper of a breath.
Soon the petals of these tulips will also be on the glass desk, ready to be swept into the compost bin. But for now, they are a source of inspiration and calm.