“there, in the shadows, is a beautiful woman handing out freshly picked roses” individual bursts of flame, beauty born of pain, woven layer upon intricate layer of silk gossamer to melt hearts already warmed by love’s brush,
unintended, against bare shoulder, one strand of hair blown off course, inadvertently discovering a new continent where exotic species have familiar names and rain is suspended midair, the unspent tears of earthly terror sacrificed to time, immortalized, crystallized jewels of human
suffering to honor, observe, and trust
even as we bump into them, swallow them, absorb them, seeing our reflections in their glassy surfaces, distorted images of our future, molded, formed, shaped, transformed as beauty with thorns

(first published in encircled, from Prolific Press https://prolificpress.com/bookstore/chapbook-series-c-14/encircled-by-jo...)