The Witches

The witches speak a language
clearer than my mother’s, the edge
of a blade, crack of broken glass,
silky slide of sin, come in, come in, in
my ear, a soft patting drum, the
spell bound lullaby

they croak and coo, all manner of
tone and it is sweet as the summer
tongue growing fat on hand cart ice cream
pops, brisk as the Boston cabbies,
neither here nor there, they are
ever here evermore. They are

inside me, flapper dancing
the pelvis bones, acutely out of
style and carefree, they have me,
the potion’s daughter, their invitation
sheer formality. I am in, I am
in, I am deep

at the bottom of the cauldron.
Do you dare consume me? The woman
who gives cancer out freely and lives
to die yet never dies, the sick
anomaly. Can you hear them?
Press your ear

to the flat of my skin. I am
the cast-off shell of the sea,
hollow and rustling – that, there,
that is them – their greedy hands
are chanting, come in, come in,
won’t you, Darling, come in?


Originally Published by Third Wednesday, inspired by the work of Anne Sexton

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