Gloss for the spit-clean


torchlight:  when horses fixate on a distant sound

filament:  changing from one hand to another

forge:  marking of borders with white flowers

otter:  archaic word for the fine hair of an infant

spigot:  finely carved mantle of walnut

canopied:  the size of cotton balls and the color of coffee

saltarello:  praying over a case of green figs

madder:  a murderess with a vindictive nod

silvered:  drips down the walls of your drawing room

thwacking:  to go about in a narrow-rimmed hat

mirth:  trusting the result of a boat race

linnets:  pious maidens, each with a box of French linen

jalousied:  draped about with grey moss

coax:  to put away sacred relics

patois:  large canning houses

bairn:  an ecstatic gurgle

deluge:  throat troubles

voudoo:  blots of shadow and fish

brodequin:  to fashion a sort of doll from old clothing

crock:  instrument played with a bow or the thumb

parchment:  the inlaying of color tiles

lintel:  a silver archer's ring

emporium:  foot-coverings

trousseau:  a footstool in Persian knot-work

traveler:  caps for elderly ladies

brackish:  want of humidity

mackinaw:  beds of salt left by rivers

perduellion:  to lead, slyly, in the direction of a nursery

oscillate:  to fall a-chatter at sunrise

joule:  wrapped in fieldstone and twine

moonraker:  waxing of a widow's walk

balustrade:  milk station queue

gladdening:  descended from the Incas

hawk:  fine stone and glass building

timber:  a feather-man in a round wheel

cotswold:  opera box curtain

queen:  vine-hung

carrion:  pretty iron fences

autoclave:  miniature castle with out-of-doors theatre

sapsago:  suffering from exposure

facet:  footman's elbow

effigy:  at harvest time, to gift with a fine yearling

miterbox:  fur wrap, worn for dining

rivulet:  to go bareheaded

parapet:  time spent in perpetual shiver

triflle:  wooden box or cradle which swings out and in

menagerie:  suburban sleighing party

gunwale:  bearing the mark of an acorn

tablet:  female streetcar conductor

jaunty:  white flannel skirt

aperture:  harbor, in midwinter

widgeon:  taking on the appearance of a clergyman

ornament:  perpendicular mountain ridge

cleft:  carts drawn by four oxen

liveried:  adorned with gold anchors

vitreous:  open at the throat

kirtle:  old German love-song

foundling:  a triptych in oil, overpainted

vignette:  interior wings

eschew:  soliciting the advice of a hermit

swickle:  stand upon cracked ice

grosgrain:  onset of St. Anthony's fire

ergot:  counterfeit bones

shuttlecock:  bells worn by sacred animal

alpenstock:  making a cooling elixir

laccolith:  part bark and part fish

garisol:  five percent of the estimated cost

quatrefoil:  to telegraph from the road

wuthering:  a vague longing to please


Meg Cowen is the author of  If Tigers Do Not Come (Palettes and Quills, 2012) and When Surrounded By Fire (Dancing Girl Press, 2012). Her recent work can be found in Passages North, Whiskey Island, interrupture and PANK. She lives, paints, builds furniture, and edits the online journal Pith in the mountains of rural New Hampshire.