They licked the needles with their tongues after they’d dished dirt about his mother.
They licked the needles after they spoke of their own sopped-up blood.
They pushed the needles in and out in and out of a tight salt-filled strawberry.
The needles honed sharp enough to pierce his coat, sharp as the tack
my mother stepped on: clean through her left heel callus.
I saw it happen. I was lying on the floor looking up her skirt to see where I came from.
I saw it happen and felt bad because I’d left the tack on the gold shag rug:
the pointed end hidden in a jungle of golden fibers.
She told me not to look there ever again, not to look ever, ever.
Two women with poison needles made their point. One wrapped lamb’s wool
around her anklets so the bells wouldn’t give her away.