Wednesday, October 12, 2016

a dozen dead roses ...

a dozen dead roses ...
summer slides across the frozen lake
slips once or twice
then breaks through the ice
throws a last gasp
into the frosty air
before disappearing
maybe just for a season
maybe forever
who can tell when
the ghosts of your past
suddenly surface
like ice sculptures
each one frozen in time
first to last
to linger
beneath every uncertain step
measuring your life
forward or back
before turning and turning
the colours of hope
into a pool of regret
so deep and so black

still i remember
and maybe you do too
our last night together
in the dead heat of June
by the springs of Santa Rosa's
postcard scene
or maybe somewhere else
somewhere in between
between where and there
or how and why
it hardly mattered at all
once you said goodbye
once you turned your back
and walked away
then looked over your shoulder
to say it again
just for emphasis i guess
or maybe it was
to convince your heart
i had fully and forever
fallen apart

i don't mind missing you
i barely remember your kiss
i've grown accustomed to living
in an endless abyss
don't mind living without you
now that i've found
how to string days together
like the beads of prayer
on a semi-precious rosary
like the old women wear
and when they ask me
to step into the light
to live outside shadows
and forsake the night
i hesitate for a second
a second too long
and i can't find the strength
to remember the psalm
and change water to wine
and find forgiveness in fear
knowing i can't live without you
and still wish you were near

there's nothing to be gained
not here and not there
when the river of trust
runs dry everywhere
becoming at last
a deluge of dust
drifting over the earth
so cracked and depleted
so fractured and twisted
so broken and torn beyond repair
if only i had one more place to turn
one more shelter to find
one more fire to burn
against the fury of the cold north wind
blowing through every window and door
and through a heart so open
it never ever closes
but all the days bring
is the scent of cold ashes
and the killing rust of
a dozen dead roses




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