Zozie's screed (cantrip)

it is 2011, or so it feels. it is terror.
it is a bodily response to a spiritual tremor.
it is a word that sounds eerily like 'dream' in German.
it feels like a coagulation of time.
a blockage of chronology.
I am there, in those incongruent moments,
permanently.
            {I am not. Of course I am not.
            but this beast has the power
            to swallow the here and now
            and regurgitate the past
            like a paste of ashen acid applied to a suppurating wound.}

It is 2011 always. my head always turned,
slightly, always peeking back over my hunched shoulders,
keeping an eye out for Death, in her ebon raiments
            {so scandalously have I danced upon her altar, and so often,
            but in those days, she seemed to always
            be asking for any other dancer than I.
            I learned to fear her when her gem-black gaze turned to someone else;
            I thought surely if I flirted with her eternal heart, and tempted her
            with libations of my own beauty and blood,
            surely she would be distracted...?}
keeping another eye out, for t h e m
or rather, their words, toxic, mendacious, lethal

it is 2011, and a hand has twisted into the autumn-tinted mass
of elven-long hair at the back of my head
and is rubbing my face in my own fear-vomit
repeating over and over ad nauseum
that it is a good person
and I am just a witch, a girl with no shadow.
I am drowning in shame, and afraid of the name they called me.
            {as my words flow, my heartbeats multiply
            my chest tightens, I see red shoes burning
            I see my femininity weaponised and criminalised,
            my safety run through with an elaborate sword
            with an edge made of glinting sharp words,
            and polished to a blinding gleam with self-righteousness.}

but it is not 2011.
I have a shadow; my umbral twin moves in sinuous protection
before and around and behind me.
I am a witch, yes, but I have always been a witch.
and I have never been ashamed of that.
my magic is opal-hued and dark and sharp
and as beautiful as a corvid's shadow in a winter sunset.
my familiars are words and wonders
and I weave the two together,
gently glimmering strands of filigree starlight.

it is not 2011, and my words are my haven.
atimes I though they were lost
wasted in a blizzard of blank pages of endlessly pure white,
but a raven whispered to me, and I saw them --
the sparkling threads, the breadcrumb-trail of amethysts
I had laid down in the emptiness
to lead me back to my words, to myself.

it is not 2011.
t h e y still circle around me, a pack of vultures
chase me forward into a tar-thick and starless-black loch
and my head slips beneath the surface, and
I breathe in frozen water in a horrified gasp--
but when I close my eyes, I have found notes
my self wrote to myself, trapped in the sea of yesterdays,
pinned to the back of my eyelids and on the surface of my soul:
any weakwilled nobodything can pickstabpull
at the same wordwounds and warcrimes
any hugetoothed liarvictim can drown anyonething
but you, you are waterborn and sealblessed--
break the surface!

I do, pulling clean night air into my tortured lungs,
because I have many shadows, shimmering.
because I am a weaver-witch who glows starlike in the dark.

because I can,
and it is not 2011.

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