Each night I walk down pebbled paths towards the roses. Their petals bring me a sense of clarity I can only hope to hold with you. The roses have an untouchable beauty, protected by thorn through root. You are similar to my roses in this way. You are caged in my screen, never to have my hand brush your cheek, or have my fingers in your curly hair. You have never gotten soft kisses on the back of your neck from tired lips in the morning. Just like a camera can’t convey the calm perfection of a measly red flower in the moonlight, midnight chats with this sorry girl will never give you a clear picture of what she really has running around in her mind. She has brainwork too vivid to translate. Her mind draws a blank, falls embarrassed, and folds back into herself like an origami swan. Just like with you, she can’t write about the roses. She can’t thank them for listening to all her secrets under swollen eyes. She can’t even pretend to put the love for them into words, simply because they aren’t there. Of all the nights she has laid on a dirty black bench petting soft petals, she had somehow hoped all of her hells would transfer over. She hoped her heavy load would lighten just a little. She hoped to lose one terrible memory, if not, one holy pound. Everything inside of her eats at her starving soul, tearing any ounce of confidence to shreds. Her self-loathing peaks. She is afraid of making her burdens anyone else’s. Instead, she whispers to the roses. She tells them of her fears of tornadoes and never seeing her dreams come true. She whines and gossips and brags about how she’s lost three inches off her waist, but grows serious when complaining she still isn’t as small as she needs to be. The flowers in the garden know all there is that sews her together. However, the garden holds the secrets of the whole town; hopeless romantics, frantic teenagers, soon-to-be fiancés, and Emma. She tends to run a bit jealous. She never has liked sharing what she loves, according to the pink buds in the west corner by the fountain. They say she loves what she can’t have, of course, that’s usually why she can’t have what she loves. Her mouth and mind are on two different planes. She can recite poetry and dreams with ease, but any outward expression of desire or love sticks to the back of her throat. Her brain shoves any, “I love you,” or, “I need you,” straight down to her heart where it so obviously doesn’t belong. This girl is undoubtedly in love, but just doesn’t know how to show it. She expects it makes her unwanted for the lack of praise she knows how to give, but she understands. When things go bad in her world she runs to the roses, but as far as love goes, she’d much rather come home to you.