We threw it on at first,
into the cuts and lesions we’d found,
and some pinched over left shoulders
to cast that devil aside too,
we watched, a vigil for the drawing out
of all the impurities we’ve accumulated,
applied herbal poultices,
pressed firm to our injuries,
convinced each other
that we had scientifically observed
of acrid smoke - a smoke signal
that meant something
neither of us could interpret.
Burnt sage in every room
to exorcise ourselves completely,
to exclaim its expulsion,
to reclaim, a recovery of sorts.
But if it has gone, healed,
if we are renewed, anew,
what’s this bitter cud
we are left to chew,
salt and sacrifice aside,
this wound still stings,
the wound’s still open.