How to Break a Curse
BY DANIELLE BOODOO-FORTUNE
Lemon balm is for forgiveness.
Pull up from the root, steep
in boiling water. Add locusts’ wings,
salt, the dried bones of hummingbirds.
Drink when you feel ready.
Drink even if you do not.
Pepper seeds are for courage.
Sprinkle them on your tongue.
Sprinkle in the doorway and along
the windowsill. Mix pepper and water
to a thick paste. Spackle the cracks
in the concrete, anoint the part
in your hair. You need as much
courage as you can get.
Water is for healing.
Leave a jar open beneath the full moon.
Let it rest. Water your plants.
Wash your face. Drink.
The sharpened blade is for memory.
Metal lives long, never grows weary
of our comings and goings. Wrap this blade
in newspaper. Keep beneath your bed.
Be patient, daughter.