One Day I’ll Market Your Death


One Day I’ll Market Your Death

Do not mistake this phrase for one contiguous with threat.

Even its flower knows the theory of attractive quality.

An ideal medium for cochineal production, the prickly pear
shelters a host of creatures we seldom caress.

Which displays greater motility, the cactus or the cochineal?

Life-cycle of attributes, packaging, excitement, the unknown.

In the Aztec language, the word meant prickly pear blood.
The insects’ bodies and eggs yield carminic acid, which mixed with

aluminum or calcium salts yields the red dye.

Reaching for substance is neither metaphor nor effect. Sessile

parasite: carmine. The product of Dactylopius coccus
became the second most valued resource in Mexico, behind silver.

Opportunism unveiling itself, revealed, or, layered greed.

What appears to be fungus is wealth.

One-dimensional / attractive / indifferent. We look together
through the window and observe our separate selves.


This poem originally appeared in a slightly different form in Otoliths, and was included in my chapbook length work, The Circumference of Other, published in IDES: A Collection of Poetry Chapbooks, by Silver Birch Press.

30 thoughts on “One Day I’ll Market Your Death

  1. Living in the north, we had a tiny prickly pear on a window sill. The problem was that it was the window over the kitchen sink, and that sill was directly behind the faucet lever. I lost count of the number of times I had to pull those spines out of the back of my hand. I didn’t need red dye.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I admire prickly pears – they are so persistent and resilient. I’ve seen them growing in the oddest places – high up in the crooks of trees, on shed roofs, etc. Amazing tenacity. I do object to their always seeming to sprout up in the exact places I don’t want them. 🙂


  2. Pingback: One Day I’ll Market Your Death | rimaalalamy

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