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G. Bennett Ulrich 

Aurora Matahari Raiment

You need to get over yourself and grow the fuck up.

Do you suddenly have some superiority complex 
--need to put me in my place?

Not suddenly, 
not superiority, 
just observation and perhaps too-harsh advice 
--but there's truth in it.

I like it rough 
--pick     me     apart 
--I'd like to know

You think two things about yourself: 
that you're ahead of the game, 
being so young and yet so mature 
and two, 
that you are still a little girl who has the right 
--or in your mind, a duty 
--to play in filth and call it candy.

I never claimed to be mature 
--I never claimed beauty in youth 
--I do like to scrape my knees on the blacktop, 
but how do these so-called problems affect you?

Because while you may enjoy a good scrape, 
you like crying over skinned knees even more 
and I have to blow on them and dry your eyes 
so that you may jump and scrape again.

So don't coddle me 
--girls are only babies when someone offers a shoulder. 
Take yours away and I swear I won't fall 
--that might toughen me up. 
Whatta ya say?

But do I want a too-tough girl? 
Won't it harden us both? 
Why can't we share shoulders 
and exchange war wounds sweetly and 
without remorse?

I don't ask you to want me. 
And I don't want you hard 
--we can share all you like 
--remember I'm not the one striving to change you... 
or is this only constructive criticism?

Change is arbitrary and, 
though inevitable, 
I look instead 
to progress 
    and growth--

--As long as we don't grow apart--

--You don't have to ask your friends to be your friends 
--it's how the term's defined.

You are asking for more 
than friendship.

I think you have a too poor 
definition of the word.

Poorly proven in past--it's true 
--I can trust and depend on you--perhaps, 
but friendship comes with time, 
like card houses, 
larger and more fragile with each play.

I'm in no rush to topple your home 
--I want to visit you there 
--but why are you standing with your hand 
on the bottom-most Jack? 
Cut me some slack!

You want me to deal? 
How about you? 
Insecure underneath a cultivated facade 
of intellect and showmanship.

Listen, bottle Red! 
You wear costumes for clothing 
and a mask for a face. 
We'll both need to toughen up 
if we're to finish the race.

Name calling, sweetin? 
I thought such a wordsmith 
could quickly fashion more elaborate snares 
to wound me deep, 
but these rose thorns 
barely prick and moisten...

Well, you already know I lack the conviction 
to wound you any deeper, 
but continue on your present course 
and you may yet feel the bite 
of my hard-set type!

I will not attack that part of you, 
below the belt is a last and tasteless choice, 
and I believe the words leaked here will not scratch, 
or even break the skin, 
and to be bitten by someone like you might draw blood, 
but I promise I won't feel the pain.

You're incredibly bright 
and yet some actions are dim. 
Did he teach that to you 
or was it you who taught him?

We don't talk about it much, but it's more than I know you'd like to hear. 
Do you know there were two full moons this month?

So, we're twice the loons. 
Here's a thought 
why don't you you admit to being a girl 
and I'll concede to boyhood.

Fair enough, I am a precious flower, 
and you're conceded.

Here's a conceit, you thorny bush! 
Why is a rose 
that is painted red to enhance its appeal 
so hard to open? Are you painted shut? 
Perhaps if I were precious too 
--is there a chance or what?

You don't think you're precious? 
Poinsettias, sweet, are red and rare, 
much like a rose, or two 
--they like the cold, winter months, unlike the daisies do. 
So you will not sprout or pollinate in my potted garden spot, 
you flourish out in fields so green, with sunshine red and hot.

The sun is cold and blue to me, 
the fields are brown and dead, 
if you won't let me share my heart 
or help you share your bed. 
You think I ask for far too much 
and yet you let me beg, 
am I your pet who gets a pat 
or kindly proffered leg?

Please do not grovel, 
get off your knees, 
perhaps my decline 
comes at your ease. 
Please don't pine, 
or feel torment 
--you'll soon see wasted hours spent.

Perhaps you're right, your heart's been bent. 
Mine, while bruised and beaten, needs a chance 
to live and love and find romance 
goading me 
to not relent. 


Reprinted with permission of the authors 

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