They found her circling the drain.
Eyelids wallpapering twin wells
with puckered fingertips stuck
scrambling for purchase
like suckers

A disease that starts in the gaze
said the doctor, soon solidifies
in the throat, into something
that can't be swallowed down

They cut her open to find it
expecting a bulbous crop of flesh
or a stray keratin blade

Instead milk and rose made way
for something green and glowing

A contemptuous emerald at her throat.

Citrus yellow explodes at the pool's edge
in late afternoon.
Papyrus plays lazily with muddy waters.
dragonfly wings brush my lips with kisses.
But I'm drowning
like a ripped veil sucked under the surface
with the virgin memory
of my deflowered childhood.

When will I revisit that scene?
Remember shards of sapphire
falling from the evening sky
and the moon (that quarter)
scent of trees, murmurs, drip of the fountain
rustling sound of leaves
lemon pungency

soaking a souvenir
that never comes into focus
ghastly lingering at my window sill.
Sex, pain, then a white flash.
A bath in the ocean
swimming towards depths
where killers will follow
no more.

[Previously published in Feminine Inquiry]

Toti O'Brien
Rhiannon-Skye Boden