Everyone Knows the Taste of Blood
Everyone knows the taste of blood.
It tastes of rust and wrinkled cherries
Trickling from the empty socket of a tooth,
Whether loosened by time or kicked out too soon.
The edge of an envelope sliced too sharply
Across the tongue spreads a tangy plastic film
Over the taste buds and mixes with a
Warm, salty slick of molten metal.
Teeth sometimes bite into the tongue
Like vipers striking a fleshy palm.
Scorching welts bloom, boiling
As the mouth sours with sharp pillars
Of stinging pain and soiled copper.
The adult grows over the space the child left behind,
And the red-flared tongue returns to pink.
When I needed your eyes, they looked away–
And the taste was pretty much the same.