Nightstand with Roses

They weren't red nor was I angry,
   but with something five shades lighter
          than passion, I plucked the roses bald.

Anyway, they were sorry things.
   Their nodding heads on such long stems
          reminded me how tiring it is,

always trying to forgive.
   And besides, I did it gently, pulling petals
          the way one tugs off an insect's wings,

by twos. What my thumb and fingertips
   began to hearyes, they listened for it
          was the shaggy center's thick dribble,

the tiny rip of dismemberment,
   and, in between, the moment of small panic
          that comes before—as just before withdrawing

a mouth from another mouth there comes
   that in-suck, that sudden taking back although
          you've already given it up, given up

to it—the letting go. I couldn't stop
   until I had the whole drawer full
          of floating pink on pink.
 
— Jody Zorgdrager, author of Of Consequence


All poems, art, and photos are public domain, creative commons, or used by permission of author or publisher. The Backwaters Press, 2008. Photo by Oyvind Solstad, via Flickr.
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