I don’t want roses
I don’t want department-store affections
your sickly-sweet scent
I don’t want to stab the pads of my fingers
on the thorns you forgot to remove
I don’t want roses
you’ve cut from their sister-blooms
and left for dead in shallow water

I want you
to plant a dream-big seed
or a hope-small sapling
dig your fingers into damp earth
sift through the stones and the worms
I want to see your nails trimmed black
as you tease hair-soft roots loose
into a cradle of earth

I want you
to tend to a trust-tall ash
we can shelter –
then be sheltered under
where we can sacrifice our fears,
our blind eyes for wisdom

I want you
to make mulch from eggshells
to grind bones into bread for a cypress
that will grow however it wants
over the names we leave fading
on our graves

I want you
to give me wisterias vines
so I may brush aside their pastel-soft queues
from the windows of your inherited home
and peek inside

I don’t want roses
wrapped in ink-fresh paper
that will stain my palms

I want you
to give me something new
in wrinkle-crinkle pages
from your diary

I want your lifelines
to touch mine
and grow
into new dreams

© chris DINGLEY 2014


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