Climbing by Tendrils

There crept through this vineyard a whisper
incinerating in its dauntless
path phœnix-tailed leaves around which wrapped
intoxicating drafts, long-winded

versions of longing perfuming with
poisonous gasps what ambassador
doves intentioned by an unseen hand
to task themselves its answer, candid

and calm, came when called, then dissolved, for
rumour falls without wings, cannot walk
or kneel to pray, but wistful, falters
as a tragic serpent does when rapt,

attempts magic, attacks then devours
its tale hoping to alchemize that

despair into a pair of legs more
equipped than a tongue to run from mouth
to ear what secret keeps growing, trapped
here month to month, year after year, dead

air feeding on what no one can hear,
a festering prayer feathered over
with mould holding it so close grape flesh
envies its warmth, promise rescinded

once for having sinned against nature
never again covenants its cure,
not when ill-equipped to deliver
what opposite rot as this attracts,

beware what malevolence prospers
whether or not ancient angst’s intact.