I Tasted Love Once

I tasted love once—

She was bitter and he was sad.

She was a fruit plucked while stranded

In the greenery of her youth,

Thrust into unbecoming hands

Which bruised her delicate flesh.

 

I tasted love once—

He was wistful and lost.

He was two hands left outstretched

In a stormy winter night,

Nothing but memories held

As a sweet Lambrusco in a fractured flute.

 

I tasted love once—

He held me much too close.

He raged like hemlock through my mouth

And laughed, vulgar, as I choked

On that sickeningly sweet wine

He forced down my drunken throat.

 

I tasted love once—

He scoffed as he tasted me.

Words of honey and vinegar on lips

Of his, burning and cleansing

And then soothing away

That cough he gave me.

 

I tasted love once—

She rested on lips such as yours,

Her every breath a needle of Tar,

Her laughter a change in the Tide.

I may have tasted love once,

But never more than a tight-lipped taste.

 

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