I had always thought them
after all
I gave you a dozen
after our big fight
and you barely looked at them
until they were withered and colorless
and then you thought I was so sweet
for giving you this bundle of dead plants.
It must be me
an uncultured white rose
so out of place
in a world of color and protocol.
every thorn
I've grasped with bloody hands
has reminded me
that my words
are only modulated noise.
I could never give you
the correct time of day
but I can always give you roses.

Paul David Mena
14 November, 1996
Acton, MA

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