Our bond was forged between two places;
The sky-found fables, familiar faces,
And back in our city the seasoned disgraces.
I envied your consort on the heath,
His stubble sharp as lamprey’s teeth,
He made a garter and a wreath
And toured the church where he would kneel
Before love’s faulted spinning wheel
Which trades between what’s right and real.
As younger lovers we shared seven rings,
Your leaf’s butter-wrapping annulled nettle stings,
We tamed the marshes and the lings.
You poured your songs into wandering missels,
You gave me a crown of Tyrian thistles
And peace within my Roman epistles.
But in the river there’s catfish and perch,
The river that throttles the crumbling church,
Where Love Lies Bleeding, under a birch.