I asked the beloved for a gift. She planted a thorn in my palm. Of pain, disappointment, and betrayal I wept. Months lapsed into years as the thorn deeper and deeper clang, inflaming my hand and heart with pain and grief, unfolding roots into my bloodstream to drink. One night, leaning over me as I slept, the beloved kissed my forehead. Her kiss felt like a spring fountain bursting cool and fresh at the top of my head. At dawn I woke up and lo, the thorn was in full bloom.