Sub Rosa

Time’s a fugitive flying like snow upon the desert’s dusty face
running from man’s embrace like whiskers, growing shadows
without a trace. Angels talk in their sleep, laying secrets at your feet

greeting morning without haste, but leaving once you place
your trust in them. So runs the race; graveyard slotting lovers’ early fringe,
canceling the sweetness of dawn’s taste, the wind kisses away your fate.

Burying each chin in his cup, drunkards fail to look up from their wells;
dusky bowls pouring the peal of bells paint the sky its
laughing pastels as heaven’s door opens: sobering howls and lightning

blind themselves bolting the shutters of the tavern. Men
dive in; orange sighs smoke up, showering hope in fiery scent as flames
of morning blush them out, their hands with no first names touching one last time.

Consuming the onion breath of disappointment, truth smudges the moon’s
light, making a crime of proportion; a sand ocean
divides consonants by continents, speaking ill without uttering

but the sentence is humbling: scarcity like an armed
man robs night of its blindness, so each thieving soul must be fined its drink—
under the rose, thorns cannot find refuge from their thirst’s longing dryness.