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Rose Thorns

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Why do roses need their thorns?
Some things are little known.
But thorns of roses
spring and seize the surface
of  fey airs
before the roses come.
I’ve seen thorns huddle in a harmony alone,
hunkered down on green, wiry canes,
smoothed blades of whipping rose stalks,
and curl their polished tridents
to night’s call.
They are like stars
digging into firmament
with such desire,
you don’t quite get it,
and so healthy that
they almost have to wound,
or like bodies that can’t be argued,
borrowed, tamed.
The touch of a thorn
is a wry, deep telling
of the senses not to bloom
without a wish to,
without belief  in pain
to hold us true.

Source: Poetry (February 2008)

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This poem originally appeared in the February 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

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Rose Thorns

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