by Kathleen O’Neil

This translucent organza covers my skin like snow;
the innermost part of me
is burning away.

It just smolders. Oxygen, the air, it’s everywhere.

The cold poison will seep down through soft
delicate shoulder, under the left collarbone edge
through bone and the shield of muscle.

Acidic, it will wear away and fade out in the earth,
running down through the tall grass,
thick topsoil, thinned by clay,
tempered by silt,
pooling at barrier of bedrock.

It never totally dissipates.

If you dig down, you’ll see.


Kathleen O’Neil went to McGill University and volunteers for several organizations. Her interests are in travel and Etruscan cave tombs. She is a perfume enthusiast and enjoys the books of Frances Parkinson Keyes.

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