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by Shawn McCann

Listen to me: I know
the winter gloom in

to be buried in dark earth,
unable to move.

When you cut my
pinnately toothed
leaves, a succulent spice

you crave, that purple word
that rolls off your tongue
in holy oil. Wearing my

whorls around your neck
to protect you from the world.

My essence splashes
your skin, a fragrant musing
of the suffering you’re in—

I feel your ache,
I see it in your gaze
as you tend to my banes,

to watch me fade away,
that which you call death.

You do not remember, but
I will speak again; oblivion
will not take my last breath.

Shawn McCann is a writer, husband, stay-at-home dad, and a disabled combat veteran who served four tours in Iraq. His stories and poems attempt to show a little light and humor in all the dark that he has seen. You can find some of his work in the Nude Bruce Review and The Raven Review, with more on the way.