The Raw Touch

Never is honey as raw
as its origin flower,

at the moment of dehiscence,
giving in to the release
of seeds, pollen, and the quiet

that comes after —
the spontaneous opening
along a single crack
of built-in weakness,
where the wound fails to heal.

Mark how the wisteria behaves,
dripping from a ceiling
in the 1900 block
of NE Schuyler Street;
how its winglike petals

cast feathered shadows
that split into flecks
on the petals below them,
and so on, to the whorls
of our fingertips,

which curl in mirror image,
to the vine that holds
our delicate bones aloft,
palms raised up to sky,
signalling

that we are about to reach,
with our honeyed hands,
entangled and raw,
for the feeling of life
pulsing in the bark.

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