Symbols of Aniseed

A Sestina

She gives him kisses of aniseed
like liquorice roses held out,
or thunder cascading in the distance
heralding rain, signifying
the needling downpour to come.
Hungrily, he takes them.

He turns them
in his mouth like aniseed
humbugs, sticking to the inside of his cheeks. “Come
closer,” she thinks out
loud, and so he gives her white wine thoughts signifying
nothing like so many drunken nights spent staring into the distance.

But there is no distance
between them,
which has to be signifying
something, surely, apart from aniseed
breath, pushed out
onto the man who tries to come

closer in degrees of infinity. “Come
here,” he murmurs, afraid that the distance
between them is too much and he will wear out
his welcome in her arms, but she can’t imagine anything but them
and, to show this, she proffers aniseed
lips, hopefully signifying

her undying love, signifying
something more than their inability to come
closer together ever would. And so aniseed
is the scent that steals the distance
from between them,
that untangles them from gradual infinities, gets them out

from under the gaze of impossibilities, out
from symbols signifying
meaninglessness. There is only them.
“Come—”
He presses his finger against her lips, staring into the distance
of her eyes and tasting the remnants of aniseed.

Out of wherever they come,
signifying distance,
for them there will always be love in the taste of aniseed.

Also found on deviantART and tumblr.

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