Blundering through Blarney

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Blarney Castle, Ireland

Black hair vine,

fleshy soot bulbs,

green leaf tongues

mock us;

other tourists pace the grid

of Blarney’s poison herb garden.

Nausea pushes me onto a park bench;

I watch strangers sample the mechanics of death,

their eyes picking at plant plaques,

stripping facts of Ye Olde drafts

and potent potions.

The moving bits under my skin

groan “I want to go home”;

the sunlight kisses my skin,

my sisters clip pictures from

the garden while

mom sucks a cigarette.

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Blarney Castle, Ireland

I take a bracing breath,

push myself onto my heels

and walk towards some hanging vines.

My grey eyes are fixed on

plush pink, flowers,

a perfect place to hide.

I plan to stick my nose

into soft palate

and breath, body

aching for soothing;

they are buzzing with bristling

bees: fat, fuzzy, alive.

I gasp sharp, afraid of poison sting.

They ignore, indulge, enjoy ripe pink petals

and yellow nectar seems.

I’m tempted to clip one from the sky

and keep it on my phone.

I don’t.

I stare at their mechanical wonder,

their synchronized swooping;

I breathe.