Poem of the Week | October 26, 2020

This week’s Poem of the Week is “How to Spot a Witch” by Meg E. Griffitts!

Meg E. Griffitts is a poet, educator, and freelance writer. She’s the author of the forthcoming collection— Hallucinating a Homestead, which was chosen by Traci Brimhall as the winner of the 2020 Two Sylvias Press Chapbook Prize. Her poem “When the Doctor Doesn’t Believe Your Pain” was chosen as a finalist in Inverted Syntax’s 2020 Sublingua Contest by Dr. Khadijah Queen. In 2018, her essay “Hyemation” was a runner-up for the Wabash Prize for Nonfiction. She is working on her first full- length poetry collection and a memoir. She lives in Portland with her partner and many animals. Find more of her work at megegriffitts.com

 

How to Spot a Witch

           1
A ruby-eyed doe
wrestles an incantation to the ground.
A man is reborn
pure marble; her back legs kick up
either in celebration or _____________.

Headlights filter in
through blinds, winding trails, setting mouse traps,
cross stitching an empire.
She knows it’s fruitless
to follow creation’s source.
She, too, has backtracked too far in search of her hips
only to find her left hand poised to feed.

           2
It’s difficult to kill what you’ve marked.

A wolf watches with pear-stem whiskers,
extending beyond the curtain,
brushing her forehead.

           3
She’s fully submerged in vintage green.
Over the tub, origami fireflies shimmer like a halo,
the impression of being supernaturally
slapped—a gate swings open.
      She wakes
as flash flood craving
her name in fence lines. Ribbons
of porcelain search for the holes she’s missed.
Her freckles aren’t the same.

There’s the sound of dislocating but stillness reigns.
A fire burns past recognition.
She’s drowning gravity.

Her throat stirs—
a prophecy in cellophane:
no one will touch me now.

                                             Maybe this is what it means
                                             to be divine.

Author’s Note

This poem was written in response to The Voyeur’s Motel. I wanted to personify the motel owner’s voice to invert the voyeuristic power dynamic and reclaim the narrative as a discovery of femme power.

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