I remember now
how we three went into the woods:
you, me, our nubile wickerman.

(it's of no consequence now, but at one point
this gangly, beer-slugging hippie
desired a seat in your bonnet, and a chance
to be the stamen
to your sticky pistol.)

we walked. we found
a trail of fossilized bread crumbs
you tip-toed merrily through them,
whistling whistling:
Just a spoonful of sugar helps
the medicine go down
The Wicker Man, arms lagging,
dragged along his hatchet
(knuckles scraping the ground);
I trailed behind, feather-flicking and
smelling the drowsy-pollened daisies
and transforming every green thing
into wrought iron

We found it---
the trampled-down, junkyard-suburbia version of
la agua de vita.
a sister tributary, more like; sprung
from a cadaverous well.

And there, we made our memorial
--- our ephemeral dedication, we
drew sigils in the air and
practiced playing Indians
in red scarves and collapsing hats.

We held hands; I put my head in your lap
and drank in your softness;
we pressed our faces close, and your mouth
communicated the peligrosa effervescing of
sourbright cherries.

the photo-box
clicked its teeth.

On the way back, you,
named the reasons on your hennaed fingers:
why we could never be.

Stupidly, blindly, I laughed, unaware
that you were maybe trying to tell me something

Or, then again,
you were only convincing yourself
and with my gullible laugh you
pushed that snuffbox
back into its drawer.