Testing & Bottling

by Sean Borodale

I stare at the oracle of the brewery.
So much is slow.

I think you should have never entered this room.

I instruct you to test by spoon,
and if so, if right, decant and strain its incantation.
And between the veils of your palms
hold the bowl, its streamer slipping steadily to light.
And listen: the burping has held you still.

Petals, ruffs, a small slime
dredged on the sieve: a pulp of rags;
swarf of its flowers.

So the liquid goes
and twists through the Styx of the bottleneck
like it’s a reason
to forget the common of sense
and to grow bodily and wholly dysfunctional.


This poem is from the sequence, ‘Human Work’.