In college when translating a favorite poet,
the word death seemed to stand out in a line
detailing birdvoice of a wren who lacked song.
Years later I revisit the poem, realizing that word
could have been transcribed as soft rose petals.
In our younger years, solitary words come
so easily for love, eternity, growth, death.
But it takes years to annotate our definitions.
For example, sometimes when I cough now,
the spittle comes out as sticky red rose petals.