Reflection This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

A metronome knocks

from one side of my chest

to the other, wanting someone

to keep count. I don’t thank you

enough for listening, for your blossoming

magnolias that hear my rhythm.

You are a painter showing your work

to the blind. I’m so sorry for being late

but if you let me in to your exhibit,

I will stare at every piece for years.

We have been bleeding fingers, cut

from splitting the envelope, expecting

love letters, discovering only notice

of collection.

There’s a siren in the distance,

and we’ve spent our lives like

two prayers for the victim. We

have always been two roses

on the wreath at a military funeral,

loyal to a fault for unnamed masses

smothering regrets for greater good,

the only sweet aroma coming

during a sadness most will never

make sense of, causing the crowd

to flinch as two bullets in this

twenty-one gun salute, wearing

our ballistic scars together, arched

f***ing perfect towards the sun, landing

on cemetery lawn, beautifully flawed.



And this love, we pull away from each other,

leaning back on opposite ends of a wishbone

instead of pushing towards one another

to deflate the fear-down pillow that keeps

our hearts apart.

We are city-Spring;

You are a highway wildflower,

lavender under exhaust, waving

unnoticed, and I’m the rain nobody wants,

drops dragging parts of you with me

underground



and darkness has never been

so magnificent.





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