Suggestions for Lady Macbeth

1 May 2014

Try vinegar. Our grandmothers trusted
its knack for stripping back
organic matter. Try bicarbonate of soda,
try lemon, try tepid water spiked
with alka seltzer. Work before the fizz
dissipates. No success? If the affected area
resembles a spilt cabernet, dunk it whole
in semillon – those most alike know best
how to dissolve one another. Still no luck? Go
to the cupboard under the sink, try sugar soap,
hydrogen peroxide, anything with a caution,
an exclamation mark, crossbones in a diamond.
Should any telltale trace remain, light a flame
under the hotplate. When the smoke
begins to rise, stretch your fingers out
like a concert pianist – then come, come,
come, come, come
– give me your hand.

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