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54| again, we garden the increase we want prolonged

RJ Gibson

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We desire virtue / but only for show. / Each
small beauty, our inheritance: / like roses
or children: / more things needing tended—/ all these—
brief things. In the curl of the bud, / in the
sleeping infant's fist: / already the cells
stop & die & slough. We see vitality show,
supple pink, something so new / there's no moon
to his nails. Stake the roses. / Feed the boy.
Do all you will, / whatever good that will do.
Those pinks will fade, / will rust & scar / despite
your love & nurture. / Spend time, / make time / prolong, /
but you will never extend. / The bloom expends
& spends. / The boy, likewise. / They'll go along,
their cells at work, / undoing as they do.

RJ Gibson holds an MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College. He is the author of Scavenge (co-winner of the 2009 Robin Becker Prize) and You Could Learn a Lot. His work has appeared in Court Green, Kenyon Review Online, The Cortland Review, and in the anthologies My Diva and Collective Brightness. He is a Lecturer at West Virginia Wesleyan College.

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