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A Rose for Mother



We compare beautiful women to roses 

while we plunder mother earth’s skin, 

the soil where her children suckle 

at an ichor invisible to our eyes. 

Is it because of us? 

Patience must run deep 

to her molten core. It must 

feel nice to cover our footprints 

with her own chronic making. 

She is the salt of herself; 

when we devour her too quickly, 

bitterness bites at our seams. 

So we dilute her passion. 

She is palatable when partial. But 

walled up inside, we can’t convince 

ourselves to read for the beggar after 

we’ve grown used to center stage. 

Her body comes to life: 

a play dramatized by her avatars, 

the stage quaking with growing pains, 

harmony performing her daily functions. 

Why is your heart melting? 

Trees poke out of the ground like fingers. 

Clouds swirl above like long locks of hair. 

Bottomless oceans gurgle with stomach acid 

and a rapidly melting core. 

We now feel her pain, fathom 

her godlike power, steal glimpses of

her splendor through an eclipsing

peephole, nudging us into a polar night.

We forgot the privilege 

of counting on a quenched thirst. 

When she cries, overcast gloom diffuses into 

seams she once playfully nibbled at,

seams from which we once swatted 

her away as if she were a rodent. 

We don’t realize how hollow we are 

till your emptiness fills us to nothing. 

You can emerge
and transform your body to a playground 

for the grateful children 

who frolic and eat hand-to-mouth. 

We’re happy for you. 

Our tears wash away the plaster 

of taut smiles stretched thin. 

We begged her for more, more, more. 

More flavor. More favors. We held out 

our hands, begged for blessings 

only to receive salt in return. 

Is it because of us? 

We can gnaw on the sour grains. 

We can cry salty tears. 

We can open our red eyes, 

scorched but fallow for a rose.

A member of the Brown University Class of 2023, SOJAS WAGLE is currently pursuing an Sc.B. in Psychiatric Epidemiology on the pre-med track, is a member of the nationally competitive Brown-RISD Slam Poetry Team, and has had his work published in Echo Magazine and Beyond Words Literary Magazine.

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