Not a Red Rose (An Ode)

Not a Red Rose (An Ode)

                          after Bernadette Mayer

When there were four, I wasn’t sorry.
I was green, and seldom knew fear.
Now that I’m sorry
speaking does harm.
Speaking does harm,
to whomever
knows how red and fearful
the sorriest words are.
Be prepared to lose heart.
Do you know how sorry someone can be?
To be sorry when anyone sorrier
is seldom there,
And seldom gone,
So that sorry is reddest
And deepest in winter,
And everywhere sorry becomes
reddest in spring,
So that three sides is reddest
also and seldom
And no besides anywhere,
Besides is gone,
seldom seldom
nowhere, to become
nowhere and sorriest
never, sorry because
speaking is useless, speaking
to know how sorry
speaking becomes.


Alexis Almeida teaches creative writing at the University of Colorado, where she is at work on an MFA in poetry. Her recent poems, essays, and translations have appeared or are forthcoming in TYPO, DREGINALD, Heavy Feather Review, Aufgabe, Asymptote, and elsewhere. She is a member of the theater group GASP, and lives in Denver.



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