Jess Roses

you have a man now. the times have changed

for us.

mine has gone back to the alleyways,

slinking with malintent.


we tied red threads (with intention!)

a Chinese finger trap

a steel backbone against the revisions of time.

men come, and they go, our red knotted net

fills up with them and we

take our pick.


you are (always) my red woman. no matter the men that


or go, no matter

the great states of our nation pulling this love

into a puzzle of borders

and highway lines.

bleeding fly amanita and white cap

where the lines meet

growth and death are the same here – life cycles

churning like butter

softening under the heat of distance, hope stuck

like a bug

in the golden mulch.


we decay and spawn more of ourselves

into our map

as we go, the cracks

in my screen kaleidoscoping your face

into lichen and mold,

your stained glass

littering rainbows

on the cathedral floor.


you grow from everything. the apple

sulking in the tree

still red 

(keep my secrets: these

bruises hidden by smart angles and contours

of gold) the forbidden fruit

was always loving something

gone rotten, gone bad, gone wrong.


i am not the firm flesh.

i am slime mold on the map

tenderly creeping, closer

and closer to you.

About the Author

Jess Roses (she/they) is a disabled, neurodivergent, emerging writer. Her focus is the transformation of relationships and experiences with pain and the taboo. She explores how these communal experiences form and relate to societal and personal narratives within and without the psyche. She has been published in Bloom Magazine, Coffin Bell Journal, Raven Review, Grub Street Literary Magazine, and more.

Instagram: @jessroseswriting