It stops drizzling by mid-morning; I dry off a chair to sit. The rose bush, I notice, still has at least 13 buds.
How can it be this cold when the rose bush is still covered in buds? A helicopter flies just over the rooftops.
A spliff-shaped cloud drifts past. The rose bush reminds me of the old blues lyric: The way you wear them dresses, the sun keeps shining through…
The air is autumnal and smells of cigarettes. My partner talks politics in her night clothes. The rose bush is covered with new buds.
New growth on the rose bush: leaves redder than any of its blooms, like the flames from that trash fire that gave it such loving licks.
The rain is past, but slugs still roam the yard in packs like slow-moving wolves. More cream-colored roses have opened. It’s quiet.
The first roses to open after the deadheading have already collapsed. In the shady back corner, yellow hypericum dangles over the compost.
The lonely barking dog goes on and on, day after day. A newly opened rose on a bush I think of as ancient, though it’s younger than me.
The rosebush is tinged with a bit of rose: leaves on a new sprout. Across the way, a mapgie hops to the top step of a ladder and flies off.
The rose’s leaves shine white in the sun. A white butterfly detaches from one of them and zigzags into the sky—the antithesis of autumn.