The Deadly Plant

I have a complicated relationship with a plant.
Given to me to overwinter.

I read the care instructions sent with the plant. So I water it,
move it into the sunlight spot – but I’m not good with plants.
Some years ago, I managed to let two undemanding cactuses die of thirst.

The plant’s leaves are poisonous to cats.
I have now in my household a plant that
could kill some of us.

I envision a scene of my returning from Key Foods,
the plant destroyed and a cat corpse in the soil on the floor.
I chase the cat away whenever it approaches the sunlight spot.

When visitors see it, they ask if I’m trying to create
a female-homely atmosphere. A botanical garden. Children-Ersatz.

The plant. The cat. I make a promise to myself:
One of them I’ll get through winter.

Sometimes I chew a plant’s leaf. Just to see what happens.
Eye irritation, headache, nausea, nothing worse.
I’m sure it also provides me with some, I don’t know what exactly,
essential minerals – there must be something good in every being.