Three Roses

Bright red
against the grey
wall, deep green stems raise blooms
fresh, open as the hand that placed
them there.

Petals
brown on the edge,
after the departure,
yet a child gathers three roses
in hand.

In wax
paper to keep
the touch alive, hold the
red, green, grey alive, remember
the hand.

 

Third Quadrant

Black tears,
invisible,
fall to the chest, burn holes
there, pits for dreams gone sour, to be
buried.

Out in
the alley, air
conditioners warn of
words that spill, that do not know what
to say.

Sleepless,
counting the nerves
on my back & shoulder,
where your fists pounded love, or hate,
or both.

Upstairs,
the neighbors bounce
in their bed hoping the
creak of the springs will drown out what
they hear.

Sleep says
the body, run
say the legs as late night
holds its breath, & what we fear then
escapes.

 

Eugene Stevenson is the son of immigrants, the father of expatriates, and lives in the mountains of western North Carolina. His chapbook, The Population of Dreams, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. His poems have appeared in After Hours Journal, Angel City Review, DASH, Gravel, Hudson Review, Loch Raven Review, The Poet, South Florida Poetry Journal, Tipton Poetry Journal, among others.