What magic do I need to summon the words – any words? What ingredients do I need for the spell to draw them forth from the ether, from the depths of my soul? A circle of torn paper and candles the color of creamy vellum; a mixture of ink, rainwater, and fresh turned earth, smeared onto both wrists in a sigil for poetry? Or one on the forehead to unlock fiction’s power? I think I could write the spell, maybe, just maybe, I might have that much left in me at least… but do I even believe in magic? Enough to make it work?


the lighter is familiar; smooth silver metal scuffed from use, the size, the weight. the flip-snap of the lid flicked open and closed. snick. snick. spark in the darkness but no flame. damn thing’s empty but still carried anyway. like the feel against the palm. undemanding companion. flick flick flick, back and forth. snick snick snick, tiny spark. burn marks against wood; the ghosts of flames. isn’t fire the domain of the sun? not everything is as it seems. you don’t have to touch the flame for it to leave its mark. does the flame not deserve to live as well? to eat, to grow, to survive and thrive? we are reborn in ash and smoke. fire may come naturally to the sun, but the moon better comprehends its potential.


you gather the runaways and castaways
while I recruit the exiles and outcasts;
you search for the needy strays
while I seek out the angry ferals;

I’m the breaker of locks
the opener of cells
the liberator of chaos

it’s no wonder I never fit in
on an island full of misfits;
you were forming a family
while I’m forming an army


Tell me how I can help you understand. I want you to understand. I need you to understand. I need you to see things, even if just for a moment, through my eyes. Our eyes. Other eyes. I need you to see there are myriad strings attached to me, each different and equally valuable, equally unbreakable. A delicate gold chain for the Mother, a ship’s rope for the Godmother, a guitar string for the sisterlover. For one of you, a silk tie; for the other, a wire garrote. Pull as you might, you won’t snap these connections, only yank me off-balance. These bonds are no betrayal to you, don’t you see they’ve always been there? If I have only recently found those on the other end of the lines, that doesn’t change the fact that the lines have always existed. No love is a threat to you when any love only strengthens my capacity to love you all. The others understand – can you not understand as well? I have wept and bled for you – how can you doubt me?


For the Worship of the Sun and Moon

Colors: black, silver, dark red, amber, white, blue-gray

Scents: match smoke, cigarette smoke, rubbing alcohol, sex/sweat, wet pavement, cologne, blood, gunpowder, city night air

 hard liquor, black coffee, pills, bone marrow

Items: blades, handguns, cigarettes, metal lighters, faded Polaroids, silk ties, leather, broken glass, candles, obsidian, rose/smoky quartz, ink, shot glasses, syringes, chains, letters

Songs: Love Crime (Siouxie Sioux), Love Will Have Its Sacrifices (Soles), Every You Every Me (Placebo), Lonely Ghosts (O+S), For the Widows in Paradise, for the Fatherless in Ypsilanti (Sufjan Stevens), Run to You (Pentatonix), For Everything a Reason (Carina Round), The Pit (Silversun Pickups), Mykonos (Fleet Foxes)

Bodily offerings: blood, hair, tattoos, tears, bruises, scars