Allegory of a Rose

Allegory of a Rose

Cassidy Krisman

How strange, that with the whisper of the word “rose”, our minds will conjure up 

an etching of a flower?

And how strange, that the rose floating in my head resembles nothing of yours?


And how does yours form? Did you start from the bottom, with the stem,

or did you first quickly outline luscious petals, perhaps dotted with dew?

How did you decide on a hue?

Did your mind spew through its collections of knowledge, looking for a perfect counterpart? 

Maybe you culled over the vast mental libraries within you that bear shades of crimson red and ivory white, until settling on one that feels accurate.




I myself first see thorns. Sharp, piercing, but dripping with beauty.


So what does your rose look like? Have you ever paused to marvel at how these pictures are illustrated in your head?


And does it bother you, that you will never truly know the way my mind works?

No. Of course not. Why would you care?


But, for the record, the petals in my head are a murky, blood-red – still tightly clutching on to one another, desperately trying to delay their inevitable blossoming.

And they are stippled with dew drops that the world wouldn’t dare agitate, for fear of getting splattered. 


You can’t ever truly know me. You can’t just learn the ways countless thorns are embedded in this weak stem.

But it bothers me, that I will never completely comprehend your miraculous mind either. 


So, I can’t blame you…

can I? For not knowing me. Because I don’t know you either.


Nobody’s rose looks like yours.

And sometimes,

late at night, when I ponder this, it makes me shudder. 


Nobody constructed that flower – the one that lives inside you – in exactly the same way as you did.

Nobody seized a paintbrush, and commanded you to fill it in a particular way.


was all you. And sometimes, late at night, when I ponder this, it breaks my heart.


But…I secretly also think it’s kind of beautiful.


Because we all have one thing in common – nobody

will ever see