Spikenard, Calamus, and Bitter Honey

by Jennifer Crow

Tangled in your aromatic shores
and the seaweed embrace
of your wealth, I bask
under a ginger sky and reach
for tales that spread thin
tendrils through my hair.
One day this perfumed rest
will dull and dry, and I will carve
our secrets on the curve
of a nutmeg. The bees
swirl between hive and hope,
dusting my skin with saffron.
You trace hennaed dreams
on my legs and whisper of ships
cast to the wind, silken sails
torn by avarice. I taste the wealth
of your secrets when you kneel
beside me; I taste the promise
of a hundred voyages
in the smooth angle beneath your jaw.
Your pulse thrums with the heat
and perfume rises from the hive
of our thoughts. Our history
is a fragrance, blown ashore
by the trade winds, adrift
on the tongue of the world.

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