Burning Coals & Hothouse Flowers
by Robert Rubino
You’re right. I don’t know
what it’s like
to be a recovering addict
wrestling with recovering every day
taking depressing doses of anti-depressants every day
carrying scary psychic scars every day
shedding self-defense always doing for others
spreading oneself so thin exposing thinnest of skin.
You’re right. I don’t know what it’s like.
But I do know what’s it’s like
to live with such a person
to love such a person.
It’s like walking barefoot on eggshells
scattered over broken glass
strewn over burning coals
surrounded by hothouse flowers
so fragile they release paralyzing pollen
if you sneeze on them
or if a chill breeze breathes on them
or if you glance askance at them
while you’re searching scrambling
for a deal any deal
on no-fault insurance.
Since retiring from daily journalism in 2013, Robert Eugene Rubino has published poetry and prose in various literary journals, including The Esthetic Apostle, High Shelf Press, Forbidden Peak Press, The Write Launch, Cagibi and Raw Art Review, and in anthologies Poetic Bond IX and Earth Hymn, with work forthcoming in Haunted Waters Press and Bridge. He’s old enough to have seen Willie Mays at the Polo Ground and smart enough to solve Monday’s New York Times crossword puzzle (other days not so much). He lives in Palo Alto, California.