This Witch’s Glass

by Aaron Deutsch

To fix what is broken
Be it an heirloom or otherwise,
solemnly swear on the red
stain of creation that you
do not mourn. Fear
neither knife nor needle.
The gray gauze of sky
could unravel above you.
Structures of limestone–
church spires high, tombs
of iron workers and ancestors–
could all crumble.

To call a lost love
Pin a lover’s picture
to the back of your
headboard and sleep
while he looks through
your oak. Halve an apple.
Call it your heart
and yourself a witch.
Tell the universe,
the ruddy dust globes,
the fires in the sky,
you will have your way.

To invoke a great power
Walk in stone circles,
wither witchgrass
with each foul step.
Be wicked and merciful;
love and love
with shuddersome chills.
Brave the hurly-burly
and pathways of swampstalk
snaggled like teeth.
Come to mirror-clear water.
Look into it, this witch’s glass,
and study your face. Bite your lip
until a drop of blood no bigger
than a gadfly’s heart spills.

Aaron Deutsch is a recent graduate of the Texas State University-San Marcos MFA program, where he was awarded his degree with distinction. He currently teaches Freshmen Composition at Texas State University, and writes whenever he can. His work has appeared in The Smoking Poet and is forthcoming in The Nine Online. He has served as a poetry editor for Crab Orchard Review, Front Porch, and Grassroots. He has no pets.

Back to Issue Ten: Winter 2011