Blackberry Winter

We keep sleeping
Under blue down, purpling.
Others call, intrusions.
Who could want us?
Mornings bruise in like
You root behind
Me, nudging and nudging.
Soon I will creep over the edge
To feed my slim hope.
My new pills
Flutter off the sheets.
I net the sluggish butterflies, one
By one in the grass-
Green room.
They will better me, flying
Dr. says soon, fizz.
Truth is: this chill drugs the
Singing frogs and
I will pile my porous bones
Into the cold, slow

(For years I have dulled
under creek-fog
Like a catch and release,
I slipped thru waves)

The hours have not condoned
my inertias, escapes

Stamen, seed, spore
Still urgent
Clamber for deciduous flesh.
Torus, I
Swallow so much.
You snooze.
We turn, briar hips.
We are entangled with bees.

How long can you unfurl my hooded
Lips, inflorescence
Up calyx, corpels
Mists of latex?

(I may substantiate
myself, red-mouthed
clever, I
answer the phone, plan something
with someone
then fin away, outcast again
before next week)

Chemistry has conjured cocktails
cure-alls, belladonnas
The brain I will depend on
sparks eagerly


You curl me with the same grip
Even in my absence.

I ooze, croon, slogging
From little suicides to our
Mop-headed son.
He’s in a mood too.
Some days he needs his mother-
Blood for breakfast.
Afterward I may slump off
To brood, meet the
Yellow bus by afternoon.

The pills look so small, groggy
Indeterminate as moths.

You will recover me.

J. Delayne Ryms is the winner of two Academy of American Poets prizes’ and a California Arts Council grant in literature. Her poems have been published in Puerto Del Sol, High Plains Literary Review, and Frontiers. She currently lives in Georgia with her husband and son.