American Robin Wake

Botanical: Arum triphyllum. Family: N.O. Araceae. Also known as Memory Root, this plant is a poison.

His face is flat and smooth, features tied
Up with flowing thoughts and breezes.
Red underneath a thin vellum of skin,
Pale like white onion, with bitter layers.

His head, bent forward at the top, makes a hood
Of his brow and wrinkled crown, dark and loose.
Internally, his flushed colour varies-
Compact bunches of scarlet berries, or

Oval leaflets, paler on their cool underbelly.
If he knew, he would call these "anger",
Identify the chalky taste on his palette when
Disappointment had grown large and entire.

But in his recent, cheapened state, a
Peculiar odour hangs about his wavering neck,
And the taste of his cheek on my tongue
Is violent, and bites the root of my mouth.

Still, the lingering memory-taste is there,
Salt of potassium or calcium that levered
My thirst from me, left me craving further bites.
After, he spread through me, drying me out.

Before this, my medicinal boy was violent and ashamed,
His clean knuckles clenched in anger spasms. But,
After my betrayal, he is sedated and soft. On his
Fists and fingers, my eyes can only imagine foxgloves.