The Lotus

the business of being birds

by Stephen Paden

Death-bringing, its pinkish hue resilient
against the purple hearts of wanting growth
fighting against youthful charm
desiring a cool death over a warming, wet death.

Your love exists at the expense of irrational beauty,
and at the existence of a flesh-bound bounty
reserved for the lucky ones–those born in
electric charges of outer warmth and glow

contained in a passion that holds
beauty, and pain, in the same regard
that pricks at the skin to stab the living flesh

with the same, numbing pain that a dead rat on the road
represents; a cold reality that none of us escapes our fate
but while the Lotus reminds of us a twisted love
it also reminds us of a warm, unwelcome hate.

wrapped in a flower, unmitigated by judgment
it opens to the west wind and the western sun
fully exposed
in an array of onion petals

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