Rosarian – Katherine Hoerth

When someone whispers love into her ear,

she thinks of this: the whorls of roses, tight


and flush with sanguine hues, a cloudless sky

in spring, the heaving breeze of April. Love


means gazing. Love means taking them within

your hands, admiring their beauty, falling


deep inside the swirling galaxy

of their embrace, and watching them light up


at dawn and dusk as sunrays coax the sepal’s

red to pink. She’s learned that love means taking


blossoms in your hands and cusping them.

Love means crushing petals, breathing in


the sweet perfume of respiration. Love

plucks them from the secrets of their bushes


and verdant crowns of leaves with violence. Love

means severing the stem from root, the root


from soil. Her roses wouldn’t bloom so fierce

if not for love, she tells herself. And so


her body bristles at the serenade.

She prefers the silence of her garden.

Katherine Hoerth

Katherine Hoerth

Katherine Hoerth is the author of three poetry collections, including Goddess Wears Cowboy Boots, which won the Helen C. Smith Prize for the best book of poetry in Texas in 2015. She is an Assistant Professor of English at Lamar University and serves as Editor-in-Chief of Lamar University Literary Press.

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