Avowal

Do I dare—I do not—
to buy a snuff
bottle. Hand-painted,
it comes in a small gold thread
embroidered box
with a latch. If a peach 

adorned its glass shell, would I
then? Afraid to ask

questions, I let wondering build
a safety berm
around my modern moat.
What swims through
my muck and murdered
words would not bear 

any rings. They’re everywhere—
on fingers, hanging 

from ears, wrapped around
planets, even this curved channel
I’ve dug to keep nobody
out. I don’t burn
rose oil, it’s the water
I want to sniff. 

It’s this desire
I need to contain.

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