“Cloud Pharmacy” by Susan Rich

How many apothecary drawers
could I fill with these deliberations?

The pharmacist’s paper cone
parsing out a quarter cup

of love’s resistant drug,
spoons measuring new prescriptions

for my uncertainty, hipsway, gesture.
Give me cobalt bottles

leftover from aunt iska’s cures,
albastrons of ointments, resins to resolve

the double-helix of desire inside of me.
Where is the votive, the vessel,

the slide rule calculation—
to know how much good love

alchemically speaking is
good enough?

I want spindrift nights on swimmer’s
thighs. I want an Egyptian

elevator inlaid in camphorwood and ivory;
a West African drumbeat, an eggnog, a god.

I want waves and summer all year long.
I want you. And I want more.

(This is the title poem from Susan Rich’s fourth book, Cloud Pharmacy, and appears here courtesy of the poet’s website.)

Susan_LaughingSusan Rich is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently, Cloud Pharmacy and The Alchemist’s Kitchen, which was a Finalist for the Foreword Prize and the Washington State Book Award. She is the recipient of awards from Artist’s Trust, 4Culture, The Times Literary Supplement of London, Seattle Mayors Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, and the Fulbright Foundation. Currently, she is Professor of English and Film Studies at Highline Community College. Susan also works as the poetry editor for The Human journal based in Istanbul, Turkey and is co-founder of Poets on the Coast: A Writing Retreat for Women. Along with Brian Turner and Jared Hawkley, she is editor of the anthology, The Strangest of Theatres: Poets Writing Across Borders published by McSweeney’s and the Poetry Foundation, 2013. Her poems have appeared in many journals including the Harvard Review, Plume, New England Review, Poetry Ireland, and Witness. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, she now makes her home in Seattle, Washington.