To A Dangerous Rose
For James..Live long, brilliant teacher.
by michelle ryan
I'm going to pretend I never cared about this;
Your knee, nearly touching mine
Your warmth dispelling me
From every side
And bending for a closer look
At a kaleidoscope of pictures
Scattered between us,
The sunlight of your fingertips
Playing over the years.
While I fumbled for my words
Rattling like poker chips,
Picked out patterns in the floor,
My soul defined by the blue squared window,
The dead clock on the wall
You, leaning back on your silence,
Arms folded, strangely recedent
Said without a breath
'You know when I leave this room it ceases to exsist'
And so applauding despite the sting
I left that day, without myself.
Why did you have to be this one?
Of all the incarnations
When we could have met in any disguise
Or on a bus at night,
The last one going north till four...
You could have thrown me under the wheels right then.
Instead I'm tripping blindly
Through an alien garden
Feeling colors, touching sound
Following the memory of a face
A crescent moon, a badge, fragment of a song
Lost in the roar of traffic,
Searching through the dark
For something that you took from me
Without asking, without knowing
What it meant..
I find in its place, a dangerous rose
Its leaves smiling like sunlight
Across my fingertips,
Its thorns the color of your eyes.