Roses Ask Pardon for Their Wounds

I dreamed you were Asia

and rubies were mined

from your mouth like a kiss


exploding blooms of silk

interference with

ev’ry fluid step dropped


from my wish.




It seemed your persuasion

might melt from my mind

the canvas stitch of guilt


Redcoating my sight if

men wading in its

fragrant truth could erupt


and commit.




Every soldier split;

conquests deserted

quotations we’d outlived,


leaving my face a quilt

unfelt—blank as milk

laundering love of its






Roses asking pardon

trail balm treasuries

over my eyelids’ walls


and I know your garden

isn’t one at all:

a penitentiary


where thorns crawl.