By D. J. Rogers

When the rain comes
it seems that everyone has gone away.
Today, it’s too dreary for me to get out of bed
as the abusive lifelines on the palms of dawn unfold
I ask myself what the use is in crying to begin with.
These tears blend into raindrops
and race across my windowsill
to water the dirt in my apartment like a flower bed.

There are many gardens in my mind.
They are the places I go
when I need silence
amidst the beating of feet
and the cracking of concrete.
I grew up believing peace was a magic trick.
Conjured up to beat my yesterdays
back into color wheels and placate me for another moment.
Poor little boy.  . .

Coping with death
is like holding a palette in a storm:
never enough color to paint with
but never enough rain to wipe memories away.
So I have learned to watercolor like magic

Splattering floral arrangements across lobes
during tantrums in more papier-mâché midnights
than I care to count
taking the moon, chewing her up and spitting her out
no longer afraid I might wound her
because these days I scream in my sleep.
what have I done?
Planting seeds at the foot of a casket
and expecting anything but the skeletons in my closet to grow.

Where are illusions when you need them?
In those moments where life becomes too real
and I can’t love my own pain away?
I can only paint with words
stop hiding beneath poems
that can cover like watercolors
but can’t heal as long as they keep running.
I can’t be made whole with a tribute
so when you take these tears. . .
don’t look to see I’m alright
just look for the petals
falling on the pages I left for them.

You always called me your favorite color
your favorite flower
and now I wonder if you see them
or if it’s all just
an illusion.