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bride running at the desert_edited.jpg

Trousseaux: Medieval Iberian Glass Flask

Small enough 

to be slipped into 


a purse of siglaton silk

to be a bride’s listed


nuptial gift as miscellaneous 

beside cups for bloodletting


imperfect enough

to be discarded


but once, it held the volatile

oil of myrtle


calumus, lentisk

pomegranate rind


once, a new wife 

keeping vigil over the sick 


let fall

a few drops of its contents


onto the brow of a husband

mother, new-born child


and watched how fever retreats 

how life rebounds


Mary Jane Holmes

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