A myriad of conflicting feelings, love is like a rose.
Velvety petals that soothe the eye and heart,
Thorns on a resilient green stem that with a single stick,
Bring blood and pain.

Why is love thus?
Why do we expose the heart, bare the soul,
And in doing so, willingly endure the barbed pain?
With love comes vulnerability, sacrifice,
The visceral fear of betrayal.

If I say I love you, I do,
Feelings that resonate to my marrow.
When you return those words,
I secretly qualify them with doubt,
The gauge of passing time.

Please do not hurt me.
Please do not be the insolent thorn
That pierces skin and bleeds the heart.

I have given you all that I am.
Without modesty, I lie pale and unashamed,
Vulnerable to your whim,
Yet like the surgeon’s patient, weary of the unforeseen,
I fear emotional debilitation more than death.

Love me and I will be yours eternally.
Hold me and I will humbly give myself to you.
Take me in unveiled passion, and we will find epiphany.

Inspired while trimming rose bushes and not wearing gloves.

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