We come down the winding stone stairs in two groups of three, hands cupped to steady the splash and flicker of fragrant oil lamps. The deeper we go, the louder the rush and roll of the underground river flowing through the apothecary. Here is where the souls of the Mothers slow for the earthly; here is where appeals to heal scars from ill deeds are most likely granted.
Stare into its depths.
Red and orange flicker, leap and stab.
Smoky, shifting colors blacken and curl
Its abundant petals. Continue reading
Go ahead, let go of it.
You’ve held it close in the curve of your belly,
Feeding your resentment,
Your sense of powerlessness,
Until almost nothing of you remains.