the summer had not even begun to speak, and there i was, brimming with every intention to write a poem about the rose you should not have offered me. at once, i knew the notion was self-deprecating, which meant within the hour i was observing how walmart merlot slid through my hourglass throat. "how strange a metaphor for time!" i noted. crushed grapes are minutes. our bodies are the mechanism with which we calculate the hours. i supposed that meant that crushed grape flies and throat enthralls with the sensual curve of a woman. that wine must be fleeting. that there must never be enough merlot. alcohol is money! race the throat as it tick-tocks away to the end of liquid decadence!
clearly, i was not going to be writing a poem about a rose (the one that should not have seduced me).
i quickly thought about all of the not roses i could write about. a giraffe would suffice. or lust. or eternity. or a prayer. or a tastebud. or a lie. and as i wrote about an elegant long necked mammal who worshiped the salty fuck of dishonesty (a metaphor i could not unravel), i thought about what my poem would say if i had been writing a poem about a rose (the one i'm so grateful you painted for me)
i realized that i would have focused on its scent
and how i now noticed that aroma in the grocery aisle
at the movie show
on the bus
(in places where one does not think to stop and smell roses)
and i would have noted how the scent was not of a rose at all
but that of sweat. aftershave. cigarette. night.
and the rose perfumed with not a rose, which i smelled where one does not think to smell roses, was not from your garden at all but from a foreign (and most unexpected) bush that did not speak of roses but of not-a-ones instead.
"the fragrance of not a rose is delicious."- that i, suppose, would have sufficed, had i written a poem about a rose. but i didn't.