For Tilly
You were cleaning the sharp branches 
from a small harvest of Hawthorn berries, 
telling me how good they are for the stomach.
In a tincture you say. 
Get good vodka.  80 proof. 
Throw some berries in it.
Give it a shake every once in awhile
and in three months you have something
good for your heart.
I know that proof.
I think of my brother.
Still the name Hawthorn has caught me like barbed wire.  
I think of the Scarlet Letter 
and what I really wish I could share with you.  
Show me the leaves I say and you do.
And the berries, how big are they next to your hand?
I notice you’re missing a tooth.  
I don’t mention it.  
Neither do you.
I know it sounds impossible, but 
I haven’t given up on the human reboot.  
If I had to guess,
it’ begins somewhere in the foot.

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