Defixio: To [REDACTED]

To be inscribed on a lead-free pewter tablet and thrown into a storm drain.

May you not be in pain;
May you not be in fear.
May no disaster
Befall you here.
May you not fall down;
May you not bump your head.
May you not get sick
Or have nightmares. Instead:

May your toast always be
A little too dry.
May your kitchen be claimed
By an agile fly.
May your bed always be
Too hard or too soft.
May your husband’s genitals
Smell slightly off.
May the food that you cook
Be a little too charred.
May strange dogs defecate
Just inside your yard.
May you never properly
Salt your food.
May your tech support people
Always be rude.
If you order takeout,
May it come cold.
May all of your cheese
Be ruined with mold.
May your pants and underwear
Never quite fit.
May you run out of paper
While taking a shit.
May you get nausea
And run out of Tums.
May you get poppy seeds
Stuck in your gums.
May your socks all be damp
And wrinkle your toes.
May your dresser drawers almost–
But not quite– close.
May all of your glassware
Smell faintly of fish.
May a poltergeist shatter
Your fanciest dish.

Let it all happen once, and then
Over and over and over again.

And may all these irritants
Promptly cease
The moment you move
And sign a new lease.

April 7, 2020: Prehension

We are ten years too late for love:
I took too long to make myself this me.
A possible world that sought to be
Was scorched before it grew.
The hallways that we traveled through
Remember us, perhaps, but dimly now:
The faces that they see each day
Linger inside their minds like notes,
Then dwindle softly away.

But Time, the ancient sickle-bearer,
Casts off nothing, but fashions now from then,
Changes the old into the new.
Myself is all the selves I’ve been,
And all of my selves’ impressions,
Among them you.

Inanna’s Song to the Mountain Ebih

Put your face in the dust for me, mountain:
Put your face in the dust as I pass.

Blush-Bringer am I, Bone-Breaker am I,
Beauty of the Morning and Beauty of Battle,
Stoker of Red Lusts, Striker of Strong Shields.
I prepare my weapons against you, mountain:
Put your face in the dust as I pass.

I go singing the song of Inanna,
With the song of war on my lips I go.
Walls fall before me, cities fall before me,
Even as reeds bend before a flood.

Armies fall before me, kings fall before me:
I crush their brittle bones to clay.

I will raise the dead against you, mountain,
I will call them forth from the home of my sister,
My sister the pale Queen of Corpses,
Dreadful on her throne! I will call forth the dead,
And the hosts of the dead will be legion against you.

I go singing the song of Inanna:
Put your face in the dust as I pass.