Home Remedies
by Patty Dickson Pieczka

If your heart falls
through an abyss of stars, your
pockets filled with night, steam
chicory, broom and angelica tea.

St. John's wort bears you
over jagged teeth of evening,
lifts you from the thrumming
tongues of your thoughts.

Milkweed can repel nightmares and still
fears that clack in the wind.
Burdock shrinks cancer, the moon's
guiding hand on your sleeve.

For an aphrodisiac, gather mangrove
fed by semen of hanged murderers
from beneath a gallows plank.
You will walk like a whisper

through your man's dreams,
though if you need an antidote;
fleabane and cinquefoil drive
stalkers from your door.

But never taste the bloodroot.
Here is the sticky flavor
of loss, the rattle
death makes when it touches life.

It holds you somewhere
between five finger grass
and lizard bones, between
the last three stars and dawn

until you find you no longer
recognize the words
sleeping in your mind.
You will become your own shadow.

Copyright 2024 by Red River Review. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.
No work may be reproduced or republished without the express written consent of the author.