General Curse Against One Who Has Tried to Harm You
Fish will eat you
and your yellow coyote eyes
bubble to oyster jelly,
your rank vermicelli hair
will bolt straight up in terror
on your death, death, deathbed
(sinner don't wait
until it's too late)
and still I will not forgive you.
You may have as many eyes
as hairs on your head
and fail to track the spell:
what went around will come around,
its foot will make no sound.
No use to hide in seams
where even a mole could not go.
Darkness doesn't fall, it rises,
milk you put to your lips
boils red in your belly overnight.
Back and front you'll suffer
in an ape suit of hives,
you're a silver skeleton walking,
your marrow and bone shine.
This poem first appeared in Star*Line.
Margaret Benbow's work has been published in The Ekphrastic Review, Triquarterly, The Spoon River Poetry Review, The Antioch Review, and elsewhere. A first collection, Stalking Joy, won the Walt McDonald First Book award and was published by TTUP press.
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