With the mower passing over
the lawn this August morning

shirtless, lightheaded

it is such easy going, you just
push it along and the fresh swathe
follows after, good machine,

and what Mother called the smell of order
wafts up from the headless

          around you, around you—

and who has no excuse like you, none?
You cry quietly, birdsong
occurring here and there, as you observe
the sun sinking
into the torn trunks

of trees…numbed on the porch
beneath the yellow porch light, you let
mosquitoes settle on your forearms, chest and throat
and drink deep
motionless, by the hundred

then you rub yourself, and cherry juice—

Please take pity,
speak to me,
come inside.

I am drinking the rose, now
I drink the thorns.

This poem originally appeared in American Poets, Spring-Summer 2016. Copyright © 2016 Noah Warren. Used with permission of the author.