fawn head dripping black blood
fawn neck stump dripping black blood

(pet the spasming into submission
start the blue flames beneath the kettle)

pennyroyal tea, red berry tea, black tea
reams of decaying tea leaves

(prepare a viscous syrup
stir, steep, mull)

not enough delicate bird skulls to go around
(thread through the sockets)
vampire finches, black-eyed juncos, albino parakeets
(tiny eyes in specimen vials)

not enough baby teeth to go around
my neck (keep collecting) another white parakeet
sings frantic rivulets; tea kettle screams as it boils
over (keeps collecting) until it gets cut off

mouth squirming with gem beetles
plinking together like musical syllables

(sing la de da AAAH
douse tongue with scalding tea)

mouth crawling with dung beetles
plunking out like escapist syllables

(let them try to scatter down the page
then pin them into place):
  •         specimen
  •         pierced carapace
  •         splayed display
  •         necklace syllables
  •         choker syllables
  •         forced feeding
  •         gagging on the hairy legs of
  •         push pinned insect words
  •         bird beaks gathered around
  •         my voice box plucked
  •         feathers, dripping thoraxes, beads...

Maleficient Blue