Four Thieves Vinegar

Wormwood, meadowsweet,
Marjoram, Sage -
These are the elemental
Lifelines thrown
By memories, and imprints of
Your scent upon the tablet
Of my mind.
I never dared to press you close,
To fold you like a flower’s bloom
Within the pages of my recollection,
Except when we linked hands and moved
In tandem, stepping rhythmic to
The pace of music with a hundred
Swirling, merry, fast, and red-faced
I breathed in, then, the incense of
Your burning herbal garden of a soul,
Which was suffused with fire,
Root and branch -
Yet like the bush on Horeb,
Filled with God,
Defiantly continued unconsumed.
Surrounded by a darkness, and
In solitude among a pressing crowd,
Weeping for the hearts and thoughts
Of multitudes oppressed by moral plague,
I desperately inhale my bright,
Incendiary memories of you...
And cool myself in sheltering shade beneath
The aegis of a seraph’s pure protection.

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