when roses unfurl like a whisper
and the air is swooning with wine
but Cupid is crying into the fountain
and the dark ripples cripple my mind.
All I needed was one kind word
but now I want an enchantress
who’ll petrify me with a velvet curse
and hide me in an alcove twined
all round with vines; let my face crumple
with rain and years, not dribbling tears.
But maybe they’d still find me here,
run dust-seeking fingers over marble limbs
scanning for defects and hurtful things
to say, to make my sculptor weep;
trample on the trailing creepers
and desecrate my paradise.