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I squeeze the rose and blood drips from my palm,
As skin is pierced by thorns, my nerves cry out.
My clothing stains with crimson truths that calm
The passion shared and feeds my bitter doubt.

The petals flutter wilting toward the earth
Like melting scarlet snowflakes they decay
And lose their value; tarnished beyond all worth.
They dry, they break, they crumble, fade away.

A broken stem from open fingers drops,
A headless carcass, twisting to the dirt.
It sinks inside the soil, a buried corpse.
No longer live, no feelings left to hurt.

The rose is gone, and yet the man still bleeds,
His hand outstretched, he wants, he hopes, he needs!

J. Abram Barneck.
Copyright © 2003 by Rhyous, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Revised: 08 Dec 2003 17:03:09 -0700.