herbal abortion


when I say I lived in a cave that summer, what
I really mean is aluminum camper full of salamanders. no,
I mean I lived inside my own womb

dripping stalactites, soda straws salt-bright. inside
the warm mini-fridge: a lake.      bottomless.      [one
I saw when I went spelunking

with the science club in berryville, arkansas].
what if there was a headlamp
for that kind of darkness?
when I say I was a black bear, I mean
the way they mate.      together & alone.      he sniffed
my urine, chewed on my neck.      disappeared.
when I say I foraged, what I mean
is midnight parsley tea, mega-dose of vitamin c,
waited until dark to find acre of miniature
stars/pulled up evening primrose      & devoured
root system, blossom.

Canese Jarboe doesn’t have a coat of many colors, but she does have a pair of cowboy boots in every color. She was raised on a farm in southeastern Kansas on the cusp of the Ozarks. She is currently an MFA candidate and instructor at University of Idaho where she serves as Managing Editor for Fugue. She also founded an online ’zine that is a collaboration between visual art and poetry: www.velvet-tail.com.

Poem originally published in Queen Mob's Teahouse.