Creative Writing: Sweet Rosemary

By Lana Glozic

Rosemary frowned all too much.
Rosemary clenched her jaw
Awake to aching pains at night
Rosemary, whose boiling temper
Waged a war inside her brain
Octavian vying for the throne
***
“Mother,” I ask, “Why is there blood
In that bag of flesh? In the ice box
It looks so pale.” She says,
“There’s always blood when it thaws.”
It’s always been this way.”
She serves it with plum sauce.
We ignore its time at the butcher’s.
***
And so to honor King Kennedy,
They forgot that human kind
Was built on war and grapeshot;
It looks ugly on a young girl.
The doctors set her under
A pale white light softly whirring
To pay sweet Bassanio’s debt.
The scalpel descended. They asked

Her to count to ten, mowing the Capitoline
Into a lovely green pasture
Where stood a medieval neighborhood.
***
In its place they dropped a frothy white wedding cake
For all the town to watch and gasp. La dentiera.
But when they begged the doctors,
“Oh, do let us in! What’s inside!”
Gloves scrunched in their hands
They said “There is nothing, nothing, nothing,
Only a doll face.” And Rosemary laid there
With half the crumbling ancients and
Half a set of false pearly teeth.
The quadriga heels to a sky
That does not answer.
***
“O my son Absalom, my son
My son, Absalom! Would God
I had died for thee, O Absalom,
My son, my son!”
Her head was caught in
The boughs of an olive tree.