Susan Okie

Hornworm
by Susan Okie

I pearl a leaf’s bottom,
a marble drinking light,

hatch out minute,
green as the leaf I rest on,

devour, mixing its yellows
with my blood’s blue

to match this leaf,
the next, the next, eating

my way down stems,
no time to savor. Your fruits

are dreams. I’m my own
ballooning. I embody,

transform—goliath worm,
a giant, pliant,

undulant cigar.
I swell till you can’t miss

the white diagonal stripes,
red horns. Wait

for the day I don’t eat:
time for a spell in Hades,

playing dead. Know it
by the cord pulsing

down my back—my heart,
rising to light.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 20, Issue 3.

Susan OkieSusan Okie is a doctor, a poet, and a former Washington Post medical reporter. She received her MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College. Her work has appeared in The Gettysburg Review, The Bellevue Literary Review, and elsewhere. Her poem, “Perseid,” was chosen by Michael Collier as the first prize winner in the 2012 Bethesda Poetry Contest.

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