I ask nothing but winter’s silver
antiphon, earth’s breath caught
until the sun’s reeled back
from its distant hemisphere.

My face I keep turned
toward the unhurried undoing
of fallen trees, dervish leaves
aflame in their bright dying,
of gore spilled from the buck
who, too late, startled
at the staccato snap
of twig-break.

Call me darkness visible,
call me kin to belladonna
and mandrake,
I, who was conscripted
to poison the wells
of walled cities, to still
the sanguine tides
of Alexander’s thundering heart.
I, whose toothy leaves greened
a balm to whirl wise women
around midnight’s Sabbat fires.

Come now, lift my gaze
from its shadowed ruminations.
Behold sepal, stigma, nectary.
Kiss me, if you dare,
parse and consume me
like the lust of forest floors.
I might waste you in this half-light.
I might grant the gift of flight.