The Bitter Celebrates – a poem by Robert Okaji

The Bitter Celebrates

Mention gateways and mythologies
and I see openings to paths
better left unseen. No choice is

choice,
but preparation leads us astray as well.
Take this bitter leaf.
Call it arugula.
Call it rocket.
Call it colewort or weed.
Dress it with oil and vinegar,
with garlic and lemon.
Add tomato, salt.

Though you try to conceal it,
the bitterness remains.

But back to gates and myths. Do they truly
lead us out, or do we
circle back, returning
to the same endings
again
and again.

Remove the snake, rodents return.

Seal the hole.
Take this leaf.
Voice those words.
Close that door.

Robert Okaji lives in Texas and occasionally works on a ranch. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Oxidant | Engine, Vox Populi and Ristau: A Journal of Being, and may also be found at his blog at https://robertokaji.com

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