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Roots and Rituals by Charlotte Hamrick

Roots and Rituals

After the film Phantom Thread

By Charlotte Hamrick

when you say,

            Give me silence,

                         purify my sour heart -

I prepare yellow gills of liminal poison

brush damp earth from caps

scented of hoar and musk,

slice then grind under mortar and pestle

emetic fungi, season with butter and salt.

Amnesia wavers on the skin of your lips,

on the edge of abyss, I wipe your drowning 

sweat, wrap your chilling bones 

as we hold the relinquished close 

between us. 

when I say,

               death wafts in this house,

                             I do not like the way it dwells -

I scrub clean the iron pot

the cerulean bowl

our fingerprints melting with soap

snap shut the book, snuff the candles,

stave off the grave once more.

Originally published by Mojave Heart Review 2019

Charlotte Hamrick’s creative writing and photography has been published in a number of literary journals including Still: The Journal, The Citron Review, Atticus Review, Reckon Review, Trampset, and New World Writing, among many others. Her fiction was selected for the Best Small Fictions 2022 anthology and she’s had several literary nominations. She is founder and Co-EiC for SugarSugarSalt, Creative Nonfiction Editor for The Citron Review and Features Editor for Reckon Review. She lives in New Orleans with her husband and a menagerie of rescued pets where she sometimes does things other than read and write.


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