Me and a Wilted Rose

by Dure Ahmed

I’m sorry, the city wrings me out by the time I make my way home. It’s the fucked up, inedible oranges and the long winds of the underfunded bus that make me look negligent.  A little table in the park shouted “2 for $5” in dark Sharpie. But I lost the pink one to a friend who hollered at me from the coffee shop patio. And it stood perky, and half closed so I’m sure it’s still fresh,
nodding in the basket of their bike. For the red one I got distracted because the seller winked,
“Oh, I love your pink fleece jacket” and I forgot you always buy the closed ones, not the ones already at the peak of bloom because they have already begun the journey downhill. I swear it
was beautiful, I swear. Here, Happy V-day I love you, I love you. I know the flower head droops like it’s ashamed, heavy with its own ripeness. Thorned all over, but armless— trusts it’ll be


Dure Ahmed is an immigrant Muslim writer from Pakistan. Currently an MFA student at the University of Arizona, they have work appearing, or forthcoming in ANMLY, Berkeley Poetry Review, and The Lumiere Review.