Michael Mlekoday's poem "Cutting the Good Rosemary" appears in Issue No. 42: Forming One Another.
CUTTING THE GOOD ROSEMARY
means taking from the bees, the butterflies,
for they know medicine better than us,
so I look for a bush less populated.
Maybe I’m just afraid of getting stung,
my body so removed from its history,
it thinks the bee’s poison a poison. Or
maybe this fear means, secretly,
I want it, the throbbing Freudian kiss
of my ancestors, my allergies
a kind of purgatory meant to prepare me
for becoming animal, again. Either way,
I go to the darker rosemary instead,
in the shade, unbothered by the other
pollinators, and draw the stone arrowhead
I carry on my person at all times,
and take, I think, only what I need.
Michael Mlekoday is the author of one collection of poems, The Dead Eat Everything, winner of the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize, and currently lives in the Putah Creek Watershed of California. They hold an MFA from Indiana University and currently study plants and minds in American literature as a PhD candidate at the University of California, Davis. Mlekoday was a co-founding editor of Button Poetry, has served as Poetry Editor of Indiana Review, and is a National Poetry Slam Champion. Recent poems have appeared in The Southampton Review, Third Coast, The Journal, Sonora Review, Hunger Mountain, and other venues, and their work has been translated into Polish.
Read the other poems, stories, and art from Ruminate's Issue 42: Forming One Another.
Photo by Sorin Gheorghita on Unsplash
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