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The crystal bowl encounters light as at the atomic level, where crystals form, a change as 'precipitate' as the way the writer's mother changed, presumably in death. The flavour of the peppermints inside recalls her laughter, lasting as the colours in Neith-Hotep's tomb frescoes, and the bowl becomes a canopic jar, which held the physical remnants of Egyptian dead, bringing longing for the lost one. The flavour of the mint dries on the tongue, so the longing becomes a 'thirsty' version of the coin placed under the tongue to pay the passage of Greek souls across the river of death.