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w a l k i n g   i n t o   a   r o o m
w h i l e    r e c a l l i n g
a   w o m a n   n a m e d   r o s a

b y    R o b e r t   B o h m

I bring living things, plants.
Hydrangeas. Or are they gladiolas?
Doesn’t matter.
They reek.
They’re ugly and obnoxious.

Entering, I act
like I know certain answers.
But I don’t.

And Rosa? What good is she now,
wordless in her grave?
(They killed her, you know.
Caved in her skull
with a rifle butt.
Then they hurled her in the river.
Months later,
she finally washed ashore.)

Maybe these flowers are for her,
maybe they aren’t.
Anyway, she probably doesn’t want them.

(The river smells of garbage.
The dead are garbage.
The river floods the streets.
When the water recedes,
crazily I smear myself with silt --
at last!

Now I’m garbage too,
an unwiped ass.

Rosa’s dead -- very, completely.
Let her stinking carcass ride
like once Jesus’ mama did on our shoulders.
Better someone caked with planetslime than a cosmic virgin.

Red Rosa, the socialist -- killed.

It happened years ago.



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