working + writing with women


familiar mysteries


I tried summoning you with magic and spells
With your name between my teeth
And promises brewed in cups of tea
I tried to call you in with bottles of brandy
Cigarettes filled with flowers
Songs on guitars
Long braids and lace shirts, but
The summoning didn’t work
And you faded away
Like the light after 9 pm
Like steam from a cooling kettle

I tried reckoning with myself
By running up hills
And staying up late
Searching for who I used to be, 
Scrolling through years of different incarnations of me
Worrying that I had lost something in there
Where did I go wrong? Is it in My Timeline, the moment I messed up?

The reckoning and the summoning both seemed to fail
Instead I was left with a large swath of nothing
And a glass of grapefruit juice mixed with water

A sadness settled
Why could I not summon you?
Did I use the wrong spells?
Did I lose my magic touch?
Where did my jeans go, the ones from 2011 that I loved?
Who was I then and who am I now and
Will it all be okay?
Did I forget something important?
Did I give it to the man who betrayed me? 
Did I leave it in the house in the hills where I grew a garden of sesame flowers?
Can I have it back? Was it ever gone?
Or is it just at the bottom of my purse, by the door?

You were a mirage
All dark hair and glittery eyes
Like the shapeshifting cat in Eragon
Magic is frustrating and I’ve forgotten some of what I used to know.

I learned that my tears hold all my memories, 
Like a flashdrive, and 
Crying scrubs all the files, even the oldest ones. 
I learned that jewels in a cave
Seem precious and bright until someone lights a torch.

I still know your name
I feel the letters of it inside my cheek, I can trace them with my tongue
You hid from me on purpose
And there is nothing I can do
Except sing your name to the moon.

Sometimes I see you on the path
But you hide from me there, too
There is dirt on our feet
The ocean isn’t far away
There are many things I believe in
I keep the key in my pocket and not everyone is allowed in.

I saw the fire from my heart reflected in your eyes and I mistook it as yours. 
But it turns out
It was mine all along.