Blood of a Rose

Your smile slices my breastbone open
and I bleed pink wantwords across
the restaurant, watch while confused
men and women pick missed you, kiss me,
touch me
from clean dresses and jackets.

Your hair is graying.
I'm twenty pounds heavier.
You ask if my husband is good to me.
I inquire if your children turned out smart.

You lay your hand on mine and our feet
dance to that room, the room where we
wanted to be from the start of this night,
the room with the blue shiny spread and 
Degas prints on the walls, the room where
we throw our clothes on the floor
and discover that our bodies haven't forgotten 
the old rhythm between us.

In this night when the stars sink
close to the ground and clouds
step aside for the rising moon,
I'm twenty again. You're twenty five.
Dylan and Baez sing on the radio and
we're pledging love forevermore.

Later, zipping your trousers, you say,
We'll do this again but I see in your eyes
that we won't, know, too, that it's fine.

You hand me the rose you pilfered
from our table upon leaving, 
pull on your jacket,
bend for one last lingering kiss.
A thorn from the rose pricks my finger,
draws blood as the door closes softly behind you.

Pris Campbell

Published in Small Potatoes

Art: Life Bleeds You Dry
    by Marques Vickers
   (copyrighted and used with permission)

Now relocated from California to the South of France, Marques Vickers has exhibited his work internationally and been profiled extensively in media worldwide. He has published several books and lectured extensively throughout the United States.

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