I Am Not Writing About the Rose, I Am Making It Bloom in the Paper – John Milkereit

I replace the ink from the pen with water.
I tear bits of paper from the corners for dirt.
I cannot wait until spring. I have been told to make
             this rose blossom now like in January.
If I do not start now, the rose will die.
I tell the bare root that I love you for yourself
             like telling a child on the first day of school.
I will prick myself to get the rose’s attention,
             blood if necessary since I have too much.
I have plenty to offer.
I squirt water when the paper is dry.
I sleep when the rose wants to sleep.
I whisper an offer to live with me near a good window.
I eat dinner with the rose.
I cup my hands into a mad contortion to show the rose
              what two blossoms look like.
I smile more now.
The jokes about roses I keep to myself.
I whisper something sweet.
I make more dirt so the rose will keep standing.
I crease the edges so it knows where to grow.

John MilkereitJohn Milkereit is a mechanical engineer working at an engineering contracting firm in Houston, TX. His poems have appeared in various literary journals including The Ekphrastic Review, San Pedro River Review, and The Ocotillo Review. He completed a M.F.A. in Creative Writing at the Rainier Writing Workshop in Tacoma, WA in 2016. His most recent collection of poems, Drive the World in a Taxicab, was published by Lamar University Press.