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My blood too is up-welled from other existences, winnowed 
to iron, fertiliser, salt, & the redolent scent of prey in the stain 
loved equally by stable fly & wolf. In the moment of shedding
some women, no longer in thrall to riding the cotton pony, 
empty their cups to plants, & with the tipping of nine parts 
water to flush away salt, turn their tea on tomatoes, on lettuce.

One more monthly ritual where the red bloom unfurls, a dying
brother has a specimen taken for testing in the lab, & I would
bring it home for the roses. His blood never could stop growing— 
there’s something immortal about the nucleus. But what 
it liberates, promises nothing to the snapdragons lasting just 
a season, trying the rigour of what it means to be deathless.