The Names of Herbs

Three Herbs

The Names of Herbs

The names of herbs encrypt the sensual
realms accessed by way of their aromas,
secreting vast odoriferous spaces behind
five or seven letters. “Basil” becomes
wooded streams banked by lichen-covered
stones or rusty-hinged gates hung with ivy.
“Oregano” grows into busy marketplaces
made of brick or tall ships laden with
fabrics and perfume. “Rosemary” reveals
meadows inhabited by iridescent insects or
attics full of dust motes and piles of quilts.
We stir these realms away into soups and
ragouts, sprinkle bits of them onto bread.
Maybe—for a kitchen moment—one might
catch a nose-glimpse and be transported.


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