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.