Once Upon a Carton of Amber

Mellifluous these bowered years:
honeysuckle on a young boy’s tongue
unaware that each pulse lapped
from a pistil is gone — draped
only as recompense for a loss.
Count them. Count them as stones
or jewelry, worn though never held,
received and ever given
to some specious display.

Sparkly things, these relics.
Fascinating and yet unwilling
or unwilled to gather what scant
light may fall upon a bloom, conceived
to spangle the neck appended.
It is or would be the vanity of grief
to bear, perhaps cuffed about
the wrist or spurned over the knob
of a knuckle to relish this as addendum.

Ah! Memory, black ribbon that you are,
bind me. Would I not be but for the sap,
but for the preceding — the interventions
of say opal or amber, the strap
of which remains untended,
quietly there, remarkably bent, only
to slough forth some chiselled thing
made lovely by the lack of a vein
and mused as a singular gem.

Image: Krystal Ng on Unsplash

published in La Piccioletta Barca – Issue 30 – April 2021: https://www.picciolettabarca.com/posts/once-upon-a-carton-of-amber

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