The Rose

by Dennis Loney

O little rose, dew-flecked and red,
thou art (to modify an absolute)
more perfect: polymeric, machine cut,
dappled with amorphous silica,
immune to invisible worms. The dead

appreciate your constant bloom,
stiff stem, your sepal backed with wire; the way,
through artifice, the world seems more alive,
ingracious to your beauty, perfect toward
your perfectness, immune to the gloom

pressing against the windowpane,
to the tap and scrape of prickles from old-fashioned
roses, unplucked and left to fall or cling
to squares of misted glass as if they could
be saved and delay the natural chain

of events. So many objects dead
and decomposing: waxwings choke on hips
yet the grounds are hungry for petroleum,
phenolic resins, thermosets, and you,
O little rose, dew-flecked and red.



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