Six of them. See the improvement, clipped

lower limbs, they have been taught, prepared;


a burgundy bruise around the swollen head

the lips, the face, the mouth; they are kept


standing in a prism, neat, upright

like finely balanced knives. The gentle token


which I kept for your sake, their dainty feet

mutilated like children’s, in the cold


of water. How pretty they are, half a dozen

prisoners in a vase, to represent


the rose of our devotion, and also

of beauty’s cruelty, in ornament.



2 thoughts on “Token

  1. This is just how I feel. I had to enter a few of my garden roses for the Hort Soc Rose Competition (because I am on the committee until the next AGM and felt it was my duty) and cutting them made me feel an executioner. Tho’ I did come second in the Species Roses class. Gran

    Sent from my iPad


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