Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Thirty-five
Summer 2014
Sunshine LeMontree

In one dream, I carry a canister
of gasoline

I go into the backyard and douse
the plum tree

I never had a child, but I was always full
I never had a death wish, but

I throw a match and the tree
ignites. The blossoms curl
into ash

No matter what, when I turn back
everything is restored—

The flesh reforms around the pit
of the first fruit I ever ate

Each night, I wake abruptly
thinking there’s something inside me

Some animals will eat their own young, if they think
they are in danger

or if the mother perceives herself
unable to raise her children. Better

to cut her losses. Better to breed
in another season

Ethologists call this behavior
savaging. It’s more common than you’d think

In dreams, you can describe your hunger
by the quality of its teeth

I rescued some seeds so I could start again,
but I wouldn’t call that
salvaging. It’s amazing

how one detail can change
the whole idea

In another dream, I wield an axe
I am wild

darken the branches.

About Sunshine LeMontree

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