by Matthew Stokdyk

Cleopatra had her gold,
and Hermes had his stone—
all I have is washing hands
and scrubbing to the bone.

Originally published in the Spring 2019 (21.1) issue of Open Minds Quarterly. The poem describes the profane, arcane rhythms of obsessive-compulsive handwashing. Of note, the Cleopatra referred to here is Cleopatra the Alchemist, not the queen (though I do suppose the queen had her fair share of gold). By the same token, the Hermes referred to is not the god but, rather, Hermes Trismegistus, another legendary alchemist.

Matthew Stokdyk © 2019. All rights reserved.