Gathering Wild Berries

                    —Toyon, vol 28, 2012

The brombeern stain that now
nut-brown will neither wash
nor wash away,
her Hessish humors mulling
with my huckleberry wine—

crimson on crimson
on passion to rust, red
the keening flow upon the ground—
whether of the vein or of the vine
the dye is set, the serum dry.

Pricking finger, wrist,
bloody juices, lick
the salt sweet wound
and feel the gritty blossom
burr across your tongue,

but hold the bleeding treasure
fast, regain the sticky grip
in pain, and squeeze the living
paint onto the page,
and press the scarlet ink to fit
the meaning of its seed.