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Old Rose

ISSUE:  Fall 2012

Against black matchsticks,
rotted fangs,
plus and minus, sum lines, mathematics,

the shear, the jabbing jaws
in elbow-high gloves
& up to the briary cervix, a welter historical,

in situ, battling climbing Old Blush.
Grief in this devastation,
this mess, grapevine, scarlet creeper, demolished nests.

Wasps in venomous rapture of ousting.
Velvet foreskin,
underarms beaked with bite tugs,

romance and its fugue.
And the nicknames? Abide in them,
free—Constance Spry, Awakening, Alchemist.

The year’s turning? How ever pinpoint
the first splinter fault in any fallen temple?
I turned for my love & only him.

Knowing this, to brave this subtracted cage;
for him, the flail & scourge,
the hurt, the bled, the bereft bed.


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