Cowardly: An Act of a Dozen Red Roses

I remember the swell of the blood red buds,

spread in delight, whetted with my kiss.

Your rose lips unfurled,

framed in the flowerbed of first love

when you planted butterflies on my collarbone.

Yes. I could paint a perfect portrait of your sweet mouth,

but your eyes, I would conceal with a dark and delicate veil,

for I could never bear to bravely mingle in the beams

that would surely burn me to cinders;

I never met your gaze, to acknowledge what flowered there.

I missed the most vivid part of you.

Were they green, the chloroplast coloring

of all your small things?

Swimming in my mind’s eye,

big seal eyes that might’ve turned the tide.

I should have given in, I should have greeted them,

taken them the way I took the rest of you,

all at once and then note by note,

playing you by ear.

I am selfish. I consumed you.

I am cowardly.

I tried to hide the parts of me that aren’t always pretty.

You didn’t get the whole symphony.

When you asked me to go with you to the Christmas party

I withdrew, and like a drug the absence of my toxic presence

began to take its toll.

Without my kiss to wet your lips

you distorted the thirst with wine and worse,

and I wasn’t there to stop you.

I never had the courage to save you.

Oozing apathy in the hole of my absence

was the worst thing I ever gave you.

It’s too late to patch it up,

to fill it as you fix me,

but you were worth all of me,

twelve of me,

and cowardly the only tribute I leave

is the roses on your tomb and your heart on my sleeve.



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