Tithed

— Christine Van Winkle

There is safety in what we should have done,
A field of strawberries that needed tending,
a house building, fences painting, trails clearing,
salmon and huckleberries feeding to winter-starved, stream damp bears.
Instead, our calories dissolved one into the other and
It spent us no energy becoming a solute to the other’s solvent
Again, and again, deep into the chemical belly of night. You wonder
Why we felt no relief, no rest
After licking moonbeams off of each other
Or slicking seed and brew into one another’s
Purloined arteries until our throats were drained dry.
I’ll tell you why we thrashed off the wool scarf of sleep.
The empty well is waiting to be filled in the gleaning field that
we could have picked clean,
Could do, side by bending side.

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