Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Forty
Spring 2016
Poison Ivy
Kathleen Kirk

I’ll speak simply as what you feared, the pain
hidden in a delicate beauty

of white blossom or white berry,
the light filtering down at the edge

of the forest understory.
It wasn’t just

rash or blister you dreaded, the actual
wound, evidence of what you’d touched,

but the shame of not recognizing me
after all those warnings.

Believe me, I understand.
That’s how I do it, resembling what’s harmless.

I’m waiting for you still,
against this tree, taut and hairy, wound up

tight, secretly oily. Touch me again!
I remember how you reddened, how you moaned.

About Kathleen Kirk

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