If Mixed Well, the Flame Will Be a Brilliant Green and the Fire Will Not Die

by R. Mac Jones

The spell’s last ingredient:

a pigment, a powder.

Mixed with oil, copper (II) acetoarsenite

makes vibrant green, a shade to seduce

Gauguin, Cézanne and Van Gogh,

known as Paris green,

too, as emerald green,

Schweinfurt green,

imperial green,

Mitis green,

and Veronese green.

Mixed with cheap flour, it kills

the coding moth,


fall webworm,

leaf beetle,

cabbage beetle,

boll weevil,


leaf folder,

blister beetle,

twig borer,

and potato bug.

I mix from inherited,

second-hand, updated,

found, from what might be

labeled “artisan,” now,

and wonder

over my own composition,

dilution, and distance,

over artists,

as blind to liquid and mastic

dangers, as to meaning

in my seeing stippling

in their paintings,

dots like insects

walking leaves

they cannot see

are stippled

with poison. 


R. Mac Jones’ work has recently appeared in Strange Horizons, Star*Line, Mirror Dance, Unlost Journal, NonBinary Review, Right Hand Pointing, and Eye to the Telescope, among other places. He can be found at  rmacjoneswrote.com