Paraffin & Palm Spilled Salt
A bitter of angelica & artichoke with carbolic strengthens & pacifies her body.
Or sixpence spent brings up a blood-sweat & blister pops by tonic & suction cups.
She’s not bilious but swollen lymphatic.
Cracked bone cage filled with paraffin & palm spilled salt.
She’s undressed & under wraps — O spirewort! O collywobbles!
A rapscallion pins her down.
Posset of Foxglove
Red stripes & white. Angel strapped to his humbling chair.
Spun & blood-let. Gooseflesh bristling.
Her eyes twitch a dream of the tree killer.
Torn holes & poison poured to roots for a view — trees dying where they grow.
Moon slit slipping in & slipping out of white pine. Star whorl.
Mane whip. Her petticoat in a maiden heap.
Foxglove sleep on a merry-go-round behind barbed fences & ivied walls.
Flower Water of Saffron
Swallows saffron & canary wine. A somnolent myth saves her.
Or entreats an iodine salve—ward against skin tap & fat scraped off bone.
Wakes up a wisp of leaf.
A shrivelled lung.
Lifts her head & weeps.
Wades deep into heavy water & floats her dead man.
Or sinks into his gaping pool.
Tincture of Mandrake
Black bile & melancholy before a sponge soaked with mandrake.
Or hemlock held over mouth & nose.
Before twilight loosens her body. Before spasms—stiffens from an injection.
Before Cerletti & Bini & the dogcatcher’s truck.
A dog roped & current through a frantic heart & sectioned brain.
Trust in me.