“A Taxonomy of Captured Roses” by Hester J. Rook

“A Taxonomy of Captured Roses” by Hester J. Rook

I am an unravelling of bone and
my heart a lickswell of cold and a gasping red
hole through my centre.

The man bares his green teeth
a trellis of vines clawing through his gums
and in this attic room I find my face
hidden in the roses at the window and
in the wallpaper.

I am pinned with silver needles
against the wall.
I cannot move my mouth even to smile without blood.

He is frozen in place
enthroned in the centre of the rug and every heart
every whisper every illiquid longing in my mind
is a clamour.

My lips are purple with frost
eyelashes matted with frozen pearls.

I lace myself up with my loosened bones.

Hester J. Rook is a Rhysling Award and Australian Shadows Award-shortlisted poet and co-editor of Twisted Moon Magazine. Hester is often found salt-scrunched on beaches, reading arcane tales, and losing the moon in mugs of tea. Find Hester on Twitter @hesterjrook and read more poetry and fiction at hesterjrook.com.