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A friend betrayed me yesterday. I loved him
for his rage, hungers & big flat feet he stomped
as if he wanted to leave imprints everywhere
he went. I never told him how his stomping moved me,
the same way this blooming briar does, waving
in the rush & dust of the highway off-ramp.
My friend betrayed me for a fast mark, a few gasps
around a spilled secret, no bigger than a briar’s thorn.
I’m one of the cars the ramp jams into town, & because
it would cause horn-blasting rage, & because
for each betrayal we lose a little fervor, I don’t
reach to tear a flower from the briar to keep in a book —
his book — that he signed Yours, always.Lost
secrets, friends, fervors — we are made of this dust.
Let briars grow from it, & bloom.
Copyright 2019 Laure-Anne Bosselaar. First published in Small Gods of Grief (BOA Editions). Included in Vox Populi by permission of the author.