Snipers in the Arrangement
Dumb cane: cause of the lost cat voice. The cry
will return as the poisonous plant
rinses free of your cat’s larynx. For the larynx
lost briefly in toxins is not a real box, not something
to hide in, not something to wrap, not even the status
of scent. On the cherry table—the ferment of neon kumquats
in rum. Chewed leaf
of the dieffenbachia, meaning for hours
your first cat in childhood will have
no way to call you.
An Easter lily’s a simmering thing. The priest won’t take them home
from the altar—released from their brass vase and green sponge
of artificial grass. Let thine tabby cat not vomit
stigmata for the lord’s flowers. White blossoms
as kidney strickeners, as god
as snipers in the arrangement.
Dried jimson seeds hang redbirds without bodies
in the pin oak canopy. Your cousin, whose face swells
from allergy and hallucination, will shoot
someone’s kneecap off
later at the dive. One more reason to move to Mexico.
Redbirds float like tomatoes
flung skyward by storm. The patch of creek-fed tomatoes
that knows what he’ll do.
avocado, and almond. Deadly breadfruit,
elderberry, and lupine. The yew and the hemlock
and the weeping fig. The black cat crossing your path. To change your luck,