My Poisonous Cousin the Pipevine Swallowtail

come again in summer, larvae ravening the bitter vine

blood-red & brimmed with acid, devil-headed
you know when this present matter to decant

when to fix in silk & all your proteins disassemble

when to rise with codes & poisons all intact, emerge
aswoon for phlox & blue-dick, broom & thistle

any littered ditch or piss, any dumpster’s leaked suspension.

I’ll swan with you anon my kith, anon my Kin-Most-Mimicked, 
arch-destroyer now crossed over. How sweetly hid

your tongue, how plush your dust, your one torn wing—

Copyright © 2023 by Amy Beeder. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 6, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.