Gingerbread House Lit Mag

After the Plague

We waited for signs we waited for a requiem from heaven’s muse we burnt offerings of lavender & rosemary we waited for a song to lead us we tattooed the name Hekate on our forearms with a charred stick we knelt by the river we walked knee-deep in riverwater we burnt feathers random bones the hair of a seer who failed to see we dreamt in the language of ravens we anointed ourselves with oils some sacred some not we blessed each other with saliva we drew runes on our foreheads in mud we threw the dice spread tarot cards read the entrails of fallen birds we tried to speak in tongues we twirled until we fell sick dizzy with our own yearning we saw ourselves made of light we wore necklaces of teeth painted our lips with blood we kept our promises we followed bats to their caves to leave handprints on stone we tripped into open graves where some of us remained we ate hemlock & henbane begging for visions we searched the lines in our palms we baptized the trees with our tears so they could go to heaven we embroidered holy words to our skirts we believed we could all become transfigured souls we shapeshifted we braided strands of each other’s hair to our own to connect us we nursed each other’s babies we searched for maps in the church left to ruins ivy crawling through stained glass brambles tangling through floors we stole the saint’s heart from her reliquary & tasted small bites our voices became bells we borrowed spells from a spider’s mouth & wove those spells with words we dangled from silken threads we stared at the sun till retinas burned we talked to the moon we ached for miracles we splayed on the dirt till moss became our own skin we all became witches the stories we remembered became more meaningful each day memory became hallowed ground

Susen James

Susen James is a magickal old lady writes poetry to keep herself somewhat sane.  She spends the time she’s not mixing herbal potions, teaching poetry, fantasy literature & mythology at Columbia College in Chicago. 

Artwork: David Feingold


This entry was published on October 31, 2021 at 12:08 am and is filed under 48 (October 2021), Current Issue, Poetry. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.
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