Even before I struggle to open my eyes this morning a kiss is being planted ever so gently on my cheek. It is a tender intimate moment, loving and without demand. The kiss settles like a rose petal falling from a bloom and I know that it will last all day long. I will carry it through the supermarket aisles as I ponder on the restocking of the pantry and when I join the queue in the bank it will cross my mind, if the woman sitting behind the glass barrier received love today, before she caked her face with foundation, that will surely begin to crack into tiny lines by noon. Love will continue on through the hours, sometimes it will be cast aside, briefly, as a lurking shadow of doubt or negativity will unavoidably appear - an ominous cloud, only to evaporate just as quickly as it came, dispersed by another burst of sunlight that comes out of seemingly nowhere.
What is this love? Is it a simple kiss of tenderness? Unsolicited? A cloak of velvet on my naked body?
I refuse to read the newspaper. I unplug the radio. I want to avoid the words, domestic abuse and hate and rape and revenge, jealousy, anger so that the rose petal will not fold and discolour and eventually crumble. Out somewhere in this town, this minute, there are women sitting in houses or shelters with blackened eyes, broken bones, empty promises, hollow hearts. They struggle to recall when they last held the roses and the dreams and the men who came courting them and that first cut of a cake that was frosted with promise.
My rose petals come floating, floating down ever so softly. They drift before the window like pink snow underneath a bright blue sky.