Hush now—how he’s preyed, irrelevant;
the doctor must begin his testament.
His plague mask, leather and glass, raven black
packed cinnamon and clove, a treacle treat.
Praise, gifted and craved, by flickering gaslight.
Promises spoiled on his tongue, purple and bruise
on dimpled skin. A soiling, softening slack
of lies: indiscreet, a scattered blight—
locusts, curled and dried and white. Benevolent
god, casting jellied limbs of rotted frogs,
crow-faced, lemon-laced, eucalyptic sentiment.
In his dried rosemary rasp, tender death,
ours, our pound of flesh, stolen, thrashed, and flayed—
We dressed in shifts of gauze, and wrap the dead with rage.
Carrie Cook received her MA in Creative Writing from Kansas State University and is currently living in Colorado. Her work has appeared or is upcoming in The Columbia Review, Midwestern Gothic, Menacing Hedge, and Touchstone.