Rose would be the goddess of late summer.
Rhodeon, Aphrodite's red dear.
Wouldn't she — not Athena, not Ceres — .
Before the harvest
sap & juice & beating heart sustained by heat
& garden sweat,
not one root knowing yet.
Nub of bud blown / o-o-ohpen like… hot pepper.
— Blossom giving way to fruit —
raw, ruddy hip of rose.
Or Rose of Sharon, up the road, only the center rouged
by her last, sated suitor.
Tense, tired, tawdry rose/ Tissue-white/ her petals at full-mast
the blowsy skirt of Sappho's mother's mothers.
At her hip, companions sway. Cattails nod.
Queen Anne's lace golden rod
or some sleepy guard
perking to a breeze if there is
A gull swoops over
& salty, silver dune grass
arcs cools sighs
towards a rosebud wish for the sea —
Wouldn't she? As dark approaches.
As I crane my ruined, sweaty knees
Panting up Purgatory to the sea
Uphill to the crest, where, climbing the fence,
"My" tennis courtly roses bleed
in the morning breeze.
Still tended, but past tender. Impossibly red.
Impossibly heart's blood — blood-blood red,
Oblivious to ecstasy's end.
Wincing, the thought of taking them in, these
Without you/ With you —
Impaled on their bloody, heartless red
Their gushing fonts of not –yet –dead
Tear-shot wounded road-spill red —
And I let out this bloody heartsick moan,
Heart-sore, hip-sore, rose-less groan
When a guy un heard on his wheels behind me
And calls consolingly, in my rose-dusty ear,
It's all downhill from here!
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