The Memory of Water


It can be demonstrated with thermo-
luminescence: the salt solution
retains knowledge of what it once held,
though nature, though logic
would tell it otherwise. Dumb as a bedpan,
the hydrogen bond remembers
the lithium, the sodium chloride no matter
how long distilled. There is so
little purity left in the world. Desire it,
dilute it, strip it down till nothing
remains, onion eyes wept dry, last flake
of the artichoke bit clean,
sour stalk swallowed whole. The homeopath
stirs his mug, glass rod
guiding poison to balm, balm to poison,
nothing settling, nothing
dispelled. With every loss the ache
of a phantom limb he never
believed in. And still he finds himself
awake at night, clutching the
cool insistence of a pillow to his chest.

–from Crab Creek Review, 2005


  1. Amanda Phoenix

    I really like this, somehow all the scientific language really works without feeling harsh. I don’t know if that makes any sense or not. I’m not partial to “dumb as a bedpan” – I’d probably use dull or something. But then, I don’t have my own poetry magazine. 😉

  2. personally, i like “cool insistence” better than “simple resistance.”

    “simple” usually seems like a really bland and flat word to use to me, even though that’s kind of what it’s supposed to seem like by the definition of “simple.”

    and there’s something really awesome about a pillow being insistent. i’m really glad you accidentally plaguerized that line because i think it brought you to this end result, which- even though you don’t agree- is much better, i think.

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