The River and the Rose


A shudder chilled my spine as I drove across the bridge of the Jim
knowing it carries your ashes.
"It was suicide," the gossip mongers told me of your death,
glee in their black, small hearts.
I lived again the sickness of our union as the years fell
away like petals from a rose.
Yet agape transcends the mangled wreckage
of broken vows, madness, and life itself.
In the cold dawn I stand on the banks of the river which shares
your name, a rose in my hand, the fog as thick and penetrating
as the cloak of illness that twisted our togetherness.
The black waters below me roil with danger and treachery
as did '58, '59, and '60.
The thorns pierce my flesh as your torment
pierced my being.
The red of the rose reminds me of the blood I cried for you;
yet, it's beauty remains intact.
So it was with our caring,
a rose emerging from life's carnage.

And so I throw this rose to you,
Sealing through all eternity agape's bond.

And so I throw this rose to you.

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