My rose was blue

I stepped beneath the arch

My rose was gold

Or peach

Softness incarnate

Never crimson

Never bold

Tentative like my

Steps.

I rose beneath the arch

To meet four faces

Framed with snake

With sea

With sinister teeth

With chains

With all the keys I need

To break free.

I rose and took

The proffered seaweed

Tiny bladders ready

To pop with salty sweetness

A shoreline promise

Of things to come.

I rose, hands out

Filled with light;

Stepping into darkness

My rose was black

Ashen; withered

Suddenly alive again!

Gold and glowing

Snakebite antidote

Starlight flowing

I rose; I gasped; I smiled.

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