Jules Jacob

Strychnine Tree
August 21, 2020 Jacob Jules

Strychnos nux vomica
Strychnine Tree


It is not yet too late for the rescue.
—Nathaniel Hawthorne, Rappaccini’s Daughter

Stranger under this love-sick tree, lapful of terminal clusters
remove your white shirt and nickel-sized buttons, trace
their velvety smoothness from my collarbone to sacrum.
Tongue these semen seeds through our clenched mouths
and teeth, waterboard closed throats until we’re swallowed.
We’ll hymn benevolent lies until there’s an antidote
to our natures, until we come ‘round right as we can be.

Jules Jacob is a writer and child advocate whose work appears in journals and anthologies including PlumePlume Anthology 8Glass: A Journal of PoetryRust + Moth, West Trestle Review and elsewhere. She’s the author of The Glass Sponge, a semi-finalist in the New Women’s Voices Series (FLP) and a recipient of the Virginia Center for the Creative Art’s fellowship in Auvillar, France. Visit julesjacob.com