The Poppy Eater

She would honor the bloom with
 
her body, Papaver somniferum,
 
little dream of seed and dust. Ebony

tattoos slide up her arms and hide
 beneath the sleeves
 
of her pale shirt, her ink dense

with darkness. Night flows
 into her eyes and descends,
 a pelerine on her thin frame—

a body abandoned. There is that much
 shadow in her, that much dusk
 of an open earth. She has already

left us in favor of a barren bud, and our black
 thoughts roll dry in our mouths
 as we cough and cough.