light the fucking candle.

stare at the mirror,
a little past it.

what card do you see?
they ask.
I see the moon.

turn it over.
it’s the moon.
they do this all day long
to prove to me the existence of God.

I have a jar of oil, bayberry, my own spit,
blank check signed, prick from my finger, dash of
rosemary, rose petal from my dad’s
funerary placement (private, just us)

and my menstrual blood
on the mantle.

“I give it all to you.”

(I’ve done this before)

take my blood,
drink it like pomegranate jui ,
get drunk on my rage.”

turn over a card:
Justice.
just to prove things to you,
princess.

I wake up the next morning
bleeding again,
a week early, moon in Leo.
pour a cup full to her.
candle lit.
to the lion’s head,
drink up, love.
it’s pertinent you take it
one bitch at a time.
Justice.

the first thing you notice about me
is my smile, wide, bright like a star
and  the second thing you notice
is the viper behind me.

the fifth one i call is Sekhmet.

“five of wands”

made me walk to her house
collecting stones along the way.
said she was building something.
my pockets and fingers were dirty
and when I arrived,
she was sitting, arms crossed
and
throw that conch shell away
is how she greeted me.
I feigned my deference
and regret it now.
she never wanted me to kneel
but to toil for her favor.

she didn’t greet me with any body part
but squared me.
when I asked about the stones,
she looked perplexed.
gestured to the kitchen where the
trash sat and said
throw those away too.

“sisyphus” or “how guys save me in their phone 4”

smirk.

black lipstick and naked eyes and
lied about time
when I asked her.
she looked at her wrist to
count the hearts but missed an
hour and she is
dulled,
not rusty but
blunt and I know
when she walked away,
her hand was
steadily sharpening.

“how guys save me in their phone #3”

it was morosity
that ran in the family.
I sat down to the orange tablecloth,
my spanish deck set
    laberinto
every light out,
about sevcn candles it
and a roller coaster kind of
high, grief taking years to
fully form outside of me,
a birthday present for us,
Matt
and pulled the first card,
    the sun reversed

i’ll always remember that.
october 19th, 2016 and my
brother is dead.
I swallow a finger full of his
ashes from the black and
white genie bottle I
keep him in and

let the ritual begin.

“the rituals’

when do you decide to kill and what
stops you?
God.
pause.
uncertain
of myself.

and what do you want to learn from all
of this? she waves her hands over
the fire.
pause.
uncertain of
myself.
but there are the men
and they are giant
but it is not just men
the things that I’m bound
by, namely vitriol,
a weakness, how they
pervaded throughout my
gelid days when I could
have been comfortable in gray
cocoon save these little birds
and having no
right to be there, I can’t decide
if it is better for me
to keep my hands pressed
firmly together or

 will you teach me how to kill
my God?

or if it is better palms
open in subservience
to her.

“Hecate”

I think a lot about my
own divisiness and the ways to get
more or away or someone.
how I mask it.
what I can do.
what I’m doing.
how what I thought I about
yesterday compares meekly
to the euphoric way the sun
hit my shoulders just today
and no other day will compare to
this feeling so I mold it into
tangibility, twisting a straw,
photographing the figures of me
opening the door for someone
on way to get my second load
and thinking, so happy
to witness.

also
I love probability
like
what’s the likelihood I’ll see your
friend again, seeing him three times
already and you never there cuz
I don’t set foot on your lawn,
your territory, not mine
to fight for and
what is it going to take to hypnotize
a small crowd and at what cost to my
well being and I was practical so
how much money will I  make
if I devote myself entirely
to one thing vs. side things
and how honestly bad I
crave the hustle
but also I would like to crave stability
and statistically speaking,
we have to look at patterns,
not just equations but
trends so then here comes
more of the past.
I’m real used to it:
being three places at once
if I’m any less than nine.

II. (uranus in sagittarius in fifth house)

I just have to make rent.

I read a note out loud to myself,
something I had written in an urgency,
a mania and with its own
staggering precocity these little
messages keep me crawling
on the ledge:
    everything that is really hard
          is going to save your life

and a blackbird landed on the branch
outside my living room
window.
still, their eyes small and
sharp, waiting to dive,
waiting for the buzz of cicadas
to start again.
            that reminds me,

I say in my head
            i’m emaciating.
I take a sip of water.
starved, looking
without touching and
      I want too much
has many meanings.
I read the words aloud again
and pour myself a thimble
of almonds.

it is first that I craft the story,
not out of revenge but
of general idleness and
devilment, the two things
slated to go hand in hand.
I begin to charm him.
                do you believe everything I say?

and then you become the
braced masochist
and I become
the looming hit.

“maelstrom”

I took myself
to the welfare office,
not even getting lost as
I’m prone to do.
          why can’t you just figure it out?
I live right down the street.

my shorts are stuck to my thighs,
and my neck is drenched.
I wipe my forehead with my hand
to her disgust.
“It’s unseasonably warm for June”
I begin and elucidate the drawl,
smile to beg for my Access card back
but here comes the recalcitrance;
she asks me for something
I don’t have and I
smacked my lips the wrong way
so I snacked on my servility
inch by inch as I
inched my way
back to “our place.”

months later,
I lose a diamond necklace there.
there is nothing more satisfying
than losing things or
shaving my head or
throwing away the clunky pepper
spray that women wraithed into chains
and hung from their hips
as if fear and trepidation
and weaponry have
ever kept me safe.
someone told me failure is perspective
but all I see are cops
pinching women with latex gloves
and all the little shrubs
that line the block look like
workers shaking their heads at me
      leave
or,

get on with then.
I am  throwing coffee grounds
into a leaky cardboard box,
our first CD is scratched  and
on top.
I’m on a bed that lifts
with one giant sigh
and no top sheet and
no frame.
they said risk meant courage
and I say you fucking
left me here
into your voicemail.

I’m eating sprinkles with a spoon
in a freshly inherited
two story townhouse.
It’s the sixth of June
so I got weeks to make
next rent.

“grace”

the second one I called
was Hecate.

I am on the floor
in the stained glass
room with the brown carpet
and the yellow walls
and the paper flowers:
bright orange, white, red,
dusty and a sprinkle of
musk from the places
I shoved them and my
dripping skin;
eighty eight degree body
flailing impetuously
flattening them.

I am flipping over index cards.
the coral & lime sheet is lined
with shells, some broken
and rocks, pieces of concrete I
remember picking up in Maryland
when I saw the perfect house.
a ceramic lemon bowl is full
of dirt from the catacombs,
a burned scripture,
red jasper.
my fingers digging
at the bottom,
tips filthy,
jagged, can
cut.

today we are reading up until
we are forced to stop:
is not easily angered
which means I have gotten
past does not envy
but I have not gotten
past temper,
or
I am indeed a wrathful
cunt so
the second one I called
was Hecate:
have purpose,
a patent resolve.

and I always pause to look
in the mirror,
not unsure. just a
tremor. old reflex
to watch my eyes change.
part my hair,
look past something;
my facile understanding
of this and
my dolorous step.

we break men.

crushing debris
between my fingers
into a nanoscopic
form settling
permanently on my
floor or carried
everywhere
I go on my soles.

“the incantations”

I put my headphones in.

begin to spin the happy thought
into years; of us.
your brusqueness
  it’s just one breath
syncopated with whatever song
I assign it like I walked
into a film set; replay a scene
of you coming back and
behind me, your mouth
hot with acrimony.
your hands rough in
both touch from the ungloved carpentry,
spackled with white paint
and the way
you take my waist.
I hum out loud.
the loop is what I have to
worry about.
the way you press your teeth
to me.
        it’s just one breath.

“the men”

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