A rose by any other name could be Miguel or Tiffany Could be
David or Vashti Why not Aya which means beautiful flower but
also verse and miracle and a bird that flies away quickly You see
where this is going That is you could look at a rose and call it
You See Where This Is Going or I Knew This Would Happen or even
Why Wasn’t I Told I’m told of a man who does portraits for money
on the beach He paints them with one arm the other he left behind
in a war and so he tucks a rose into his cuff always yellow and people
stare at it pinned to his shoulder while he works Call the rose
Panos because I think that’s his name or call it A Chair By The Sea
Point from the window to the garden and say Look a bed
of Painter’s Hands And this is a good place to remember the rose
already has many names because language is old and can’t agree
with itself In Albania you say Trëndafil In Somalia say Kacay
In American poetry it’s the flower you must never name And now
you see where this is going out the window across water
to a rose shaped island that can’t exist but you’re counting on
to be there unmapped unmentioned till now The green place
you imagine hiding when the world finds out you’re not
who you’ve said

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book of days