Home Remedies

Jessica Lakritz

Seasonal Affective Disorder: add rose petals to boiling water, drink after cooling.

Dark circles under eyes: apply area with crushed mint leaves.

Insomnia: Cannabis indica, smoked or ingested.  Some for you and some for your lover who is currently able to sleep just fine.

Solidarity must be the remedy for something.

And love. Or what feels like love.

For relief from topical habañero burn, smear with sour cream. And this time he even took a picture to document the event. A close-up of your face, nose centered, white spread thick from below your bloodshot, burning eyes down to your chin.

Now you have: Consequences, for the record.

Note to self: do not re-title poem Placebos.

Even one-night stands can stand in: complex business of life, check. More than just distraction, frustration, disease, discomfort, disappointment. Afternoon rain tapping in libidinous rhythm. A tipsy memory of rope and ice cube role-playing with a stranger, a good one. We comb through, some don’t slip through the teeth unnoticed: true. Not like pink boxer-briefs that momentarily caught your attention, more like the threesome with your best friend and a guy called Gomez. He did her first, you remember? You remember, you made shadow shapes on the wall with your idle fingers, check.

And what about today, since that was some years ago, you’re thinking about the future too, when your now-lover moves on, finds himself a one-night stand to add to his collection of save-able experiences, good for him. But jealousy isn’t so congratulatory. Today, he is on his way over to make love to you as the summer heat beats so libidinously against your skin and bones. In six months he’ll have found the satin sheets of a mystery brunette seductress, his lips inching across her big breasts, sucking on her nipples. You and your broken-heart, relentless, pushing, from inside, like arsenic. The subtle remnants of habañero on your fingers. Also, what he told you afterward as he rubbed himself against your sour cream face:

Hot peppers contain the main component of pepper spray, Capsaicin.

He whispered that sexy word in your ear over and over like a hymn.

Psychologists say: ingest enough Capsaicin and your endorphins will kick in.

Endorphins can provide temporary relief from all sorts of ailments: loneliness, anxiety, lovesickness, controlled by the mess of circuits and wires and organs and blood that you are made of.

But sometimes: you have to sit on the beach in your jeans, this gorgeous and desperate edge of land, and let the rising tide wash over you, until it doesn’t, falling back, and you are soaking wet, uncomfortable, choking on sea water. Sometimes the only remedy for suffering is suffering.

Jessica Lakritz has an MFA from Eastern Washington University. She keeps a photo haiku blog at http://itookthelandscapes.tumblr.com/ and shares her thoughts at http://afieldoratrainoradream.tumblr.com/. Her work has been published in Grist, Third Coast, Northwind, Shady Side Review, and cream city review, among others. Jessica is currently on a self-made six-month sabbatical in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, working on a collection of poems.