Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2018  Vol. 17 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Ivy in Every Parallel Universe

I consider the ivy charming, even mysterious,
as it slowly kills the house. I tug on a vine to locate its source,

the tendrils divining rods. This parasite has grown into
a many-headed beast: cannibal plant with a thick furred trunk,

animal limb wrapped around the fence. I move fast
with my clippers between spring rainfalls, my feet

in standing water, a carpet of tangled ivy. My arms ache
from forcing the blades together, but I can’t stop

until I finish what I’ve started—destroying the quaint beauty
working its way up the siding to dissolve my home

from the outside. In the flooded dorm bathroom
she knelt underneath my skirt, me on tiptoe

like a ballerina, my palms flat against the wall. Our hair
curled from humidity like ivy, her tongue relentless like ivy,

everything hidden, like how ivy doubles back on itself
while new branches climb, seeking light.  

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