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The Grudge

I watered the grudge,
not with the fervent devotion
of a nun clutching rosary beads,
not with the destructive clockwork
of a drunk spilling vodka
tumblers on the cactus erupting
through his heart, but I watered it,
went out there at midnight,
with a can of spittle, moon dangling
like a lightbulb from its frail cord,
and I dripped the dark
nourishing fluid into its roots,
my face pulsing like a blister
as the venom petals bloomed.

Jeffrey McDaniel

Chapel of Inadvertent Joy
University of Pittsburgh Press

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