Witch: poetry

for Donna Jo Napoli

By Katharyn Machan

Eat

this house.

This honeycomb splendor,

these eaves

where gumdrop spiders spin.

I have boiled

dark caramel,

set rosy mints

just so.

On frosty panes

of sugarspun

you can write

your names

over and over and over

again in full moon’s

syrup light.

Sweet children,

all my days

I mix and stir

the shapes of dreams

night steals from me

alone:

hot stars, perfect

licorice crescents,

cinnamon jewels aglow.

If I could swallow them

my eyes would turn

to toad gaze,

spring’s free song.

Instead it’s you

whose tongues must flicker

in and out with delight.

This fire spits.

My iron spoon

grows heavy,

sears my flesh.

Can you count

the candied cherries

lined up in a row?

Taste them now

and the crystal drops

I pretend are tears.

Grow fat.

Uncage your fears

of who I really am.

Just once call me

Pure Dark Mother

before the oven slams.

(Originally appeared in Dogwood 2001)

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