Today's poem is by G.C. Waldrep & John Gallaher

Rose as Red

It's still not good enough. And you were always told
all you had to do was to keep coming back to it, all
together now on the count of three. But you
have to count silently, and you have to decide if
it's on three or count to three and then go, so
no matter how you plan, the dead
are stumbling over the shopping
someone left out in the rain again. It's a vision
of things to come. You'll finish the book. None of this
will be part of it, and then you'll realize
it could have been or it should have been,
and the dead have covered themselves
in sticky notes. We call it someone else's problem,
but then we're someone else, and by then
it's grown to fill both sides of the street. Cars launch themselves
at it. Gas prices surge. They make up songs about it
and the songs go up the charts, and then the dead
are stumbling over the charts. Look,
this was always going to be easy. We were going to grieve
for them and then put them in a box in eastern Kansas. There
are so many places to step, we couldn't imagine ourselves
stumbling over them there. Maybe we'd dream about them
a time or two, and we could give ourselves coded messages
in their voices, things about lying down, or
Marlon Brando, or Elizabeth Taylor. But the news is filled, now,
with the dead hanging in doorways holding signs
about how America ends at a houseboat with mountains
and soccer fields painted on the side, over which the stars are white
with enough space for you to fill in your name
gone to flight over a valley of whispers.

Copyright © 2012 G.C. Waldrep & John Gallaher All rights reserved
from Burnside Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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