portion of the artwork for Rachel Wiley's poetry

Toxic Homemade Beverages
Rachel Wiley

With a picture of Jesus
a copy of The New Women’s Survival Catalog from 1973
and an artificial leg (left behind by the previous tenant)
I open up shop as faith healer in my mother’s garage
I cannot cure the stank faced alley cat of her glare
but I keep humming all the same
she’ll come around
My hands are a jumbled guitar music
over the bones of sugar skulled mermaids
gasping for salt

I barter for my services
trade some divine intervention
for a gold sequined butterfly
so some bottle cap tap dancer
could snap slide and shuffle
all I did was whisper in his ear
“Evolve”
and his spine took it as a bar fight dare.
All of my remedies include busted bottles
ocean water
and apple skin.
Trust me
and you’ll be sure to see out of both eyes again
better even than before.

I like shiny things that the tax man can’t come for
I can’t owe you what I don’t have, Mister
but I can shake some holy over your store bought bones
trust this mother of pearl smile
these tambourine hands
hear that?
That’s the almighty talkin.
Go ahead
get out of your chair.


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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 38 | Fall 2012