A Poisoned Spirit

**This is part of a collection of poetry from Cecilia Ruvinsky**

Genus logania,

she whispers

as she drains the poison

from the flower,

as if it the chastity white petals

were honeysuckle.

She needs it to heal

her every wound,

her every pain –

from the grippe

that grips her bones,

to the hate

that makes her eyes eclipse

and her ears ring cold.

Fresh-squeezed orange juice

was useless,

and unpasteurized milk was even worse.

They solidified into worms

in the pit of her stomach,

and squirmed around,

slimy parasites,

until they found their way out of her mouth

and onto navy blue carpet.

She tried to pray it away

at the feet of Hindu gods

whose nails were riddled with kisses and fungus,

and at the hands of Friends who tried

to coax the war out of her brain,

but they for all their ivory towers and humble steeds

forgot that she was guarded

by a willful wall of truth.

Tear down the fences,

Kali, with your belt of severed heads –

pour wine into her mouth

and it’ll papercut her tongue

as it trickles down her throat.

Pry the bricks off the barriers, George Fox,

and maybe she’ll drink your teas of tansy and virtue.

Maybe she’ll let it soothe her into rebirth,

and she’ll be better than she ever was before.

Or maybe she’ll let the flowers do their purpose,

savor the poison and smile as it rocks her spirit to sleep,

and her dreams will be full of children that dance without any rhythm,

and she’ll join them as her essence ebbs away.