Urban Physic Garden

 

Nettle



June 28th, 2011 · No Comments · Medicinal Plants Poetry Project

Stinging hairs, there, as not there
the light around your mouth in bars –
late ambers play tricks.
Do you know the trouble this could cause?
 
It fucking hurts for hours afterwards
like mentally, what I do to myself –
are dock leaves apocryphal
or are we talking prescriptions?
 
The hairs around your mouth & jawline
softer than threads & without essences
or legacies
the danger is in what they could make me do.
 
The stamen of a tongue
the remembered spoken
lumps under skin for decades.
 
How do you explain to a boy of three
who’s never been stung
that just to touch green so soft
will rash away his happiness?
 
Without permission he disbands school-shorts
passes water in the triffid-shoots
until the cod-bone bristles disappear –
 
to explain how something that isn’t there
can sting
is like his first symposium on the metaphysical heart.
 
Hairs so feint on a desirous tongue
that went ways outside of easiness
to first furrow for taste – then there
was someone else stood small
in the green-scented room. Someone
who blots up the time it would take us
to kiss. He sings! The words he speaks
in our breath balms the absence
 
as dock leaves do stings
 
 
Chris McCabe
(From Herbarium, a new poetry anthology. Launch and reading 22 July)

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