| || |
Private collection of John Wood
A young man had his fingers frost-bitten, and soon after applied to an apothecary who gave him tincture of Arnica to apply. Within fifteen minutes his fingers began to swell and large bullae formed.
[George Henry Fox (1846-1937), American pioneer in dermatology]
Poem: Mr. Sinister Dreams of New Hands
If I could will my hands to change,
I'd have them ooze and swell to these.
Oh how there's necks they'd love to seize
and little bones they'd rearrange.
It's not just women I would cleanse,
their stinking tides I'd stanch
fox, ferret, civet, all whose stench
the menstrual moon offends.
You know the monthly things they do
to drop and lay their egg,
then splay and rut till they can drag
you down to fertilize them through.
With hands like these I'd teach them fear.
I'd let them linger here and there.
There's nothing I would let them spare.
There's nothing I'd not let them tear.
Then when they begged, "I want to die,"
I'd say, "Oh no; I'm done; goodbye."
John Wood Endurance and Suffering: Narratives of Disease in the 19th Century (Edition Galerie Vevais, 2009) [Note: First edition is dated March 2007 but was published in October 2008.]