Jon Horton
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Painting Out the Rosebuds

And we are put on earth a little space
That we may learn to bear the beams of love

–William Blake–

I'm in Kansas City
it is a sunny winter day
and I just painted over the rosebuds on our bed

The old iron bedstead was a gift from me
rescued from a rusting rank
abandoned in a barn near Cody

Primed with care
painted with love
the light ran out that evening
I remember
the moment I finished the roses

Revivified
it was your surprise
and my delight at your delight

You spent money to decorate the bedroom
and you spent a lot of time too
in the beginning
investing in that bed

Alone now
in the autoerotic night
I remember you exhausted
legs wide
eyes defocussed in the moonlight
a silver artery of spittle
pounding on your neck

Or a sunny Sunday you reading there
cheek on hand
agate eyes
mahogany hair
returning my smile as I peek in
at a heart full of Daddy secrets

You're in California now
I'm in Kansas City
the places we loved halfway between
abandoned by us both
our home mountains now a dim geology
of sick need and dream

I love you I don't miss you
I'm slowly getting well

Today
I painted out the rosebuds on our bed

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Jon Horton

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