Man on the Bus Gazes at his Roses
He knows nothing about roses so he wonders
if he was taken: are they fragrant enough,
are the buds too opened or too closed,
are the stems the right length. He wonders
how hard he tries to please his wife
and even though it is their anniversary
he wonders if he tries too hard, shouldn’t there be
more joy in their comings and goings,
the way the man across from him saved a seat
for his partner and now his arms are around her
as they joke and read from the same magazine.
When the man gets off the bus he holds the roses
carefully, almost too tightly, to his chest:
They have turned into crystal and look exquisite.