Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2016  Vol. 15 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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What is the most venomous animal?

When I dream the poison
it’s green, absinthe

in a crystal glass. Or safe
inside the moon-globe

of a box jellyfish,
looping a slow orbit

through the Pacific, looking
for me. Urchin-breath

and rattlesnake tongues, forked
like a memory:

pain holds you
to the earth. Grief

lets you go. I dip my leg
into saltwater, and when

the sting comes, I think
of stonefish, cone snails, lapis-

blue frogs. Antidote
is a failed sun, venom

its corona. We tried,
you’ll say, but there just

wasn’t time.  

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