Home >Poetry >
If It Comes to the Relevant Glyphs in the Papyrus
Link copied!
Published: Tue Oct 26 2021
Night reading mode 

If It Comes to the Relevant Glyphs in the Papyrus


They advise sprinkled honey & an amulet of Isis
              or date-acacia paste applied to wool

but pennyroyal’s local. Steep it with some tansy,
              or better: bitter cohosh. Horsemint in a pinch,

fennel stem with sludge of boiled mouse:
              all the understory smashed for secret teas

(oh dear)

              My dear

Silphium, worth eight times its weight in drachmae,

is now extinct. Try prayer. Calf liver’s crimson
              spill in milk. Your own sour piss. Don’t think.

Try bleach. This lye.
              Squat trembling above a pot

of steaming onions, tightly bind the waist. Several
              tries might be required. Can you manage

an electric shock? Rummage up some phos & lime?
              (Phos is short for phophorus. One East End

woman to another, in that accent we still find
              picturesque: ’Ave you any phos and lime,

luv?) Have you any wire? A sharpened bone?

Whale is best. Or a turkey feather (really any quill),
              a knitting needle or a bike spoke, some

dust from the tabernacle floor, why not

hot opium on a long broom-straw. Nightshade. Gin.
              A mason jar & tube, a veterinary syringe.

Subscribe, Buy Print Issues, or Donate!

Best value

3 Years

29% Off

2 Free Back Issues

6 Issues

$59

Sign up for the newsletter

Receive updates on our latest ventures, exclusive essays from our editors, discount offers, and more, direct to your email.


Back to top