The last reduction
of the alchemist
flowered in my veins
until I couldn’t block
views of past sunsets
or make sense
of the land.

I reached into your mind,
where I thought I might find myself–
but so clearly and obviously
found you–
your characters that lived
decades past any others,
your descriptions that lead me
into rose bushes.
Where I would stay for hours,
quite lost among their names
that never stay.
Each rose, paralyzed in its
own state of bloom.
I remembered the comparison,
first spoken under fluorescent lights
to a girl four years past twenty.
She ogled over everything
with two eyes and a pen.

Later, at twelve and the very same, no longer that girl,
I’ve only reached in
one other time.
The roses spread disease,
wilted, spotted, wept and bled–
and the letters
never made it through mountain passes to the
one heart of their intention.

Today’s confession,
reveals the secret.
I am no longer alive if not
reaching in
more than twice.