the rose is pushing inland.
i have long pondered the quiet rim of unbearable madness.
a coffee bean falls to the floor,
to be crushed but never used.
the delicate balancing act of twin unhappinesses,
lost love and hard life,
while making it all look like it glows, effortlessly.
one hole in the sock, where the toe pokes through,
trying to pull it back in your sleep.
the storm on paper, on viridescent screens,
that no one really knows, until the power goes out,
and all we can hear are thunder and sirens.
the faint cry to the earth of “mercy,”
after you realize you’re in a poor man’s deja vu.
the rose is etching itself upon our hands.
i have long pondered the stark truth of unbearable madness.
the revolving door of paychecks come and gone,
and the bills that take them.
the silence in the house of the lonely spinster,
and the cries that pierce the night like a gunshot in the distance.
that one spot in the middle of your back,
that you can never quite reach,
like a secret key to contentment.
a cart full of new groceries,
but the card says denied,
just as your stomach rumbles like a ghost.
lying on your back looking up at the night sky,
asking the universe if we are alone,
and the universe suddenly answers back “no,”
and suddenly you count the stars,
estimate the planets,
and begin to worry,
just barely able to sanely cope with one world,
so you reply back with, “well, why not?”
the rose folds itself into a star.
– James Barrett Rodehaver