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Pardon my asking, but do you think I could drink
this and be okay? I am still learning the scents

of poisons, can’t yet smell them in the wild. Sip it
and tell me if you die. I’ve heard

you can make tea from almost anything:
the mist on a cobweb, a tongue cut

from a corpse. We bodies carry so much
flavor inside ourselves—the unborn

gorge and pulse in their glee. Can I say I like
you best when you share yourself, when you

lend me a comb or toss me your jaw? I trust
you completely, with your bruised lungs

rattling like stones in a jug. Some birds
have feathers in their hearts, I’m not

making that up. When we met you were wearing
a purple cashmere mask studded with fake

diamonds. You said hold still, tyrant! and tackled
me to the ground. It was awful. Love,

don’t we seem yellower today? Don’t we seem
fungal and more complex? Every generation,

man’s eyes get smaller, less able to detect
danger in the periphery. It’s a handsome

predicament: we are born with the ways
we will die already built in. Don’t bother

with the copperhead in the garden
or the giant black eyeball rolling through

the tall grass. The only thing to do now is cheer
louder, fill our pockets with shells. You

were supposed to warn me before
you discovered the ark—it would have been nice

to dig up together. I have spent years
perfecting my helpless face, my every-beast-

of-the-earth face. I guess it’s just that lately
I have been feeling so poorly seen. I let

the sun set on my confusion and wake covered
in a film of feather grease. Tiny hunter,

little hole-in-a-leaf, you have always been
doomed, the meat of my gaze. I am

a tractor trailer with the heart of a living
boy. I am doing all of this to myself.

Read other poems from What Nature here.