I once knew a woman. Beautiful, red lips like dawn, skin like a petal,
this friend, this woman…
Let’s call her Rose.
Yes, Rose. A woman with glamor, aesthetic,
I was young when we met, too young to notice the strain of her smile, her careful laughter, the subtle glint of perpetual sadness in her eyes,
how could something so beautiful look so sad?
blossoms so well, roses,
wither so easily,
she was my mother’s friend, and a Friend’s mother,
Ah, that Friend. If his mother was a rose then that Friend of mine was a Thorn,
Like his mother. A spitting image,
Prick Prick Prick
Thorn; get close enough to him and he’ll cut you. Quite the talk, he was,
people showed off their wounds he gave them, waved about their blood like wine,
fixed smiles, fake greetings, buddy-buddy,
‘hey man remember me?’
he never did.
He had money, you see. They all did. Swam in it, inhaled it,
money couldn’t cure Rose,
withering, oh so slowly,
Her last petal fell when he was fourteen. Overdosed on tablets.
a thorn he was, my friend,
people said he didn’t attend the funeral.
a thorn he was, my friend, sharper now than ever, they said,
‘watch out for that one’
unfeeling bastard, they called him,
but they didn’t know him, not like I did,
They didn’t see him at the dead of night, that child, kneeling at his mother’s grave, sobs tearing his throat,
Asking a ghost why he wasn’t enough to keep her alive.