The threshold for bitterness on the tongue is the lowest of all.

Traces of dead growth, however beautiful the blooms once were, turn to rot and crumble into broken vestiges, strewn with the bite of ripped vines. And we rip those vines with bitterness. And we grow bitter. And we spit poison.

I remember the feel of those work gloves crusted with old sweat and dirt. Every once in awhile a goats head thorn would poke through and I’d still feel the cold sting aching long after the gloves came off. My hands never calloused.

I don’t garden anymore. My nail beds don’t dig into frozen garden beds, hand-sewing sunflower seeds or cold stratifying the earth for Echinacea. I dig my fingernails into sand, pulling up shell fragments and watching seagulls chase the tide with the setting sun as my skin gets chills. I should’ve brought a sweater.

Feet to the edge of the earth, I can go no further so my peace expands outwards. It’s just me and the birds. And I’m drawn forward, chasing the tide.

Poisons taste bitter. I kept thinking the poison was also the antidote. I should’ve known better.


Originally written November 7 2017, on the beach at Lovers Key. 

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