Red Roses and Bloody Fingers
I leave a red rose on her doorstep
every day for the month of February
in a year divisible by four.
The stem wrapped in a bow
the same color as the blood that
drips from her finger when she
discovers the ribbon conceals a thorn.
On each ribbon is a note:
I love you . . .
I want you . . .
I desire to be inside you . . .
I hide behind the oak tree
at the center of her yard,
watching her auburn hair fall over
her face as she bends to collect the rose.
28 days she pricks her finger.
28 days she licks the wound,
smiling as she reads the descriptions
of how I crave her touch, her skin.
One drop of blood lingers on the tip of her tongue—
I want to kiss it.
On the 29th day, the rose is wilted.
She frowns when there is no ribbon
containing a sweet message of devotion.
She picks up the rose,
drops it immediately.
The stem is covered in thorns—
a tiny puncture on each finger.
I step from behind the tree, startling her.
She backs for the door,
holds her injured hand before me
to halt my advance.
I take her by the wrist,
place each finger in my mouth
and suck the blood.
© 2015 Nortina Simmons