the witch doesn’t burn in this one – Tamara Fricke

Oh no, pet, not today-
you’ve brought your fire
to a coven concrete
in self assurance
with crystal portals
that know this story
and a bricked in spine
that doesn’t know
what it means to curtsy

the soot of your hatred
warms these aging bones
but does little to diminish
a resolve cured to perfection
seasoned with temperance
and reinforced in the knowledge
that I am neither your tinder,
whetstone, nor slag

I am the nightshade
driving your pathos,
the wormwood
feeding your torch,
and the dirt under
your nails from
digging a grave only
you are fit to fill.

See, the witch
doesn’t burn
in this one, pet,
but you don’t
have to either-
douse the torch
wash your hands
and go apologize
to your mother.

Tamara Fricke is the 2010 co-winner of the Gertrude Claytor Award of the Academy of American Poets and is previously published by The Lyon Review, Meat for Tea, Attack Bear Press Poetry Vending Machine, Whisper and the Roar, We Will Not Be Silenced, and has been included in a number of compilations.  Her poetry chapbook Our Requiem was released in 2014.  She lives in Springfield, MA, with an ungrateful cat, where she writes grants professionally.

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