I'm to eat the bitter herbs
and give up my innocence
lost when I was less than
six or twenty or
when I confused the taste among
gas markets and asphalt linings
the false spring of jasmine.

Yet the bitter clings
to the lips
the hill, last summer’s gully.
Did you know it sang
through its threads?

Somehow its green colour
reminds you
this is only a campfire
where we lie together


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